Weatherford Democrat

Local News

October 12, 2012

A veteran's journey cut short

PARKER COUNTY — Larry Rhoads had his military path already marked as a teenager.

In 1964 at the age of 17, Rhoads, who had moved to Parker County in the second grade, persuaded his parents to sign him off to join the Navy.

“My dad was in the Navy and served in World War II, and they had the prettiest uniforms,” he said. “Those Navy dress blues looked good.”

The Poolville resident, born in Fort Worth, attended boot camp in San Diego. But a few months later, his military career would be over, due to a physical condition he had since birth.

“We had these duty belts that we wore, which were very tight, and when I put mine on, it would burn,” he said. “I had horrible cramps as a kid if I ran a long ways, but I never thought it was anything real serious.”

Troubled by nerves and other irritants, Rhoads found out through a random physical that he had an intestinal condition that restricted some of his movement and could cause debilitating pain at any point.

“Two months after boot camp, they sent me to the mainland and said I would need to have surgery or return home,” he said.

Terrified of the surgery and not knowing if the results would completely heal him for active duty, Rhoads received an honorable discharge.

“I was 17 years old and I was scared to death of major surgery,” he said. “They gave me an honorable discharge and said I was physically unable to do it.”

With a dad, son and grandson all serving in the military, Rhoads’ journey and what could have been still plagues him to this day.

“It really bothers me, even now, because I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do,” he said. “My heart was in a good spot, but my body just couldn’t follow.”

After his discharge, Rhoads went to work for Southern Airways, in Mineral Wells, as a certified aircraft mechanic. He suffered a ruptured disc in his back, and has been legally disabled since 1993.

Though his work and military careers may be over, Rhoads still contributes his time to the community and to his country, serving as a past commander of the American Legion, where he has been a member for 16 years, and as the current guardian and past commander of the Men’s Auxiliary of the VFW, when he had membership for six years.

An avid motorcycle rider, Rhoads uses his hobby as a way to contribute to others as well, participating annually in motorcycle toy runs to support children around the holidays, as well as helping out with Veteran’s Day Out in Granbury.

He has also helped the Poolville community, campaigning for a new POW-MIA flag to be flown in the center of town.

“I’m still a veteran, and I’m proud of what little time I spent in the military, but it still bothers me,” Rhoads said. “I love my country and I would do anything in the world for it.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • WHS offering prom tours

    The WHS senior class is offering prom tours prior to Saturday’s big event.

    April 24, 2014

  • Weatherford native receives sheriff’s scholarship

    Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler is proud to make a scholarship presentation to Taylor Crutcher from the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas.

    April 24, 2014

  • DPS encouraging online license services, Mega Centers during summer

    AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging residents to beat the summer rush at driver license offices across the state by renewing their license or identification card early or online. The summer months are typically one of the busiest times of year at driver license offices, and many eligible Texans can skip the trip to the office completely via online renewal of their license, identification card or change of address at Texas.gov.

    April 24, 2014

  • WHS bands earn multiple UIL awards

    The Weatherford High School concert, sightreading, and symphonic bands recently earned Division I ratings at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest at Burleson High School.

    April 24, 2014

  • 0423 loc WC aaron ruben schlrsp.jpg Weatherford College student receives Ruben Scholarship

    Anna Eastman, a Weatherford College student in the Human Service Provider/Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate Program, recently received the Aaron Ruben Scholarship from the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Springtown man gets 37-year sentence

    A Parker County jury Thursday convicted a Springtown man of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, giving him a 37-year prison sentence. 

    April 23, 2014

  • District XI Retired Teachers President Jo Ann Smith with Louretta Evans.JPG Parker County Retired Teachers conduct auction

    Professional auctioneer Randall McDaniel conducted his fourth annual PCRTA auction of items donated by members on April 1. Several paddle wars transpired for popular items. Additionally, members participated in a silent auction, a first for the group. A total of $1,400 from the auction was contributed to the PCRTA’s operating fund. McDaniel is a 1986 graduate of Weatherford High School. The auction was sponsored by the Community Service Committee, chaired by Barbara Rothrock.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand jury indictments for April returned

    A Parker County grand jury on Thursday indicted a man accused of breaking into his neighbor’s home and threatening him with a BB gun before engaging in a brief standoff with deputies.

    April 19, 2014

  • eagle scout 2.jpg Weatherford freshman takes eagle project to vietnam museum

    As part of his Eagle Scout project, Andrew McNay traveled to the National Vietnam War Museum April 12 to build a steel foot bride to be positioned in the meditation garden of the museum.

    April 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0420 loc wumo.jpg WuMo comic strip coming to the WD

    Beginning May 1, the Weatherford Democrat will introduce a new comic strip – WuMo.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video