Local Veteran Longs to Return to Lone Star State

By | April 23, 2013
Clayton Eugene Hardwick

Primrose resident Clayton Eugene Hardwick

Mansfield, OH, Senior Living

Clayton Eugene Hardwick, 84, is quick to say, “I’m a Texan.” A Korean War Army veteran, Hardwick is thinking about moving back to the Lone Star State after living in this area since 1960.

“I grew up on a farm in west Texas near Abilene,” Hardwick says. “It’s pretty dry out there and we always need rain.”

A graduate of Abilene Christian High School just after World War II, Hardwick was farming when he got his draft notice at the end of 1950.

He took his basic training at Fort Chafee, Arkansas, and stayed another eight weeks training as a field radio operator specializing in Morse code. From there he was sent to Seattle, where he boarded a troop ship headed for Korea.

We took the northern route and saw plenty of whales,” he recalls.

Because he was already a private first class, he out-ranked every recruit in his unit.

In Korea, he joined the headquarters company of the 13th Field Artillery that supported the 24th Infantry Division.

“The 24th [Infantry Division] was the first American division to fight in Korea, “When I got there they were just a week away from going into reserves. Eventually Hardwick became a sergeant before his time in Korea was up.

Once home from the war, Hardwick farmed and then attended the Arlington Bible College near Dallas.

“I had planned to be a pastor, but things didn’t work out that way, “he said.

He then worked for more than 20 years in production maintenance. And retired in 1999 and he and his wife, Dolly, moved to a villa at Primrose five years ago.

But since Dolly’s recent death, Hardwick has been thinking of returning to his home state to be with three of his boys and their families.

“It’s not that I don’t like it here, I really love this area. But Texas is where most of my family lives and I need to be with them,” he said.

by Angela Gardner
Life Enrichment Coordinator

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