By LIBBY CLUETT | firstname.lastname@example.org
MINERAL WELLS – Despite a rain shower and cooling spell earlier Saturday morning, more than 100 veterans, active military, community members and at least two sets of Medal of Honor relatives gathered to dedicate Fort Wolters Historical Park’s new memorial to those who received the highest military award, given by the president, and served in Mineral Wells during World War II or the Vietnam War.
Bill Knight, who with his sister June Campbell, was at this year’s and last year’s ceremonies, and said it was an honor to come and represent his brother, Jack Knight, and the 13 other Medal of Honor recipients.
Locally-grown, he said their family - which included seven boys and one girl - grew up on a farm just east of Lake Mineral Wells in Parker County.
“We had to grub out a living there during the depression and into the war,” Knight recalled. “And that experience, I think, helped develop a lot of character for especially those older boys who served in World War II. I was too young for that one.”
“Our childhood playground, for a number of years, was the state park down here,” he said, pointing in the direction of Lake Mineral Wells State Park. “And roamed all over those rocks, crannies and … bank of Lake Mineral Wells.”
“We drew our sustenance from that used-up land around Garner and Bethesda … and during that time, we learned how to work, thinking about better times, and we learned how to love one another.”
Knight and Campbell were the youngest of the children, but several of their older brothers took up the call to action.
“In 1940, Jack, Curtis and Roy – the three oldest [Knight brothers] – took these lessons they learned over time with them when they joined the 124th cavalry, Troop F, stationed here. That was a National Guard unit at old Camp Wolters, where the high school is,” Bill Knight said.