The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

October 18, 2013

Guard member served in Korea

NORMAN — Bobby “Pete” Barnard was born in 1930 in Norman. He attended Wilson Elementary School (and confirmed that Roy Hamilton wrote the Wilson Wildcats Fight Song). While at Norman High School, he played football and baseball; he was All-State in baseball.

Bobby enrolled in OU in 1948 and played freshman baseball. He laid out a semester, then came back to OU in general studies during the second semester of 1950. He met his future wife, Francine, during his semester out of OU.

In June 1950, he joined the National Guard’s 45th Infantry Division and eventually was assigned to the 120th Medical Battalion. He was mobilized on Aug. 10, 1950, and sent to Camp Polk, La., for basic training.

He said on his first day at basic training, he was given guard duty; on the second day, he was assigned latrine duty; and on his third day, he was on KP duty.

While he was doing his KP chores the cook asked him if would like to become a cook. Bobby said, “I can’t boil water, but if becoming a cook will get me out of all these details, I’ll become a cook.” So, he became a cook in the National Guard.

Bobby came home from Camp Polk during Christmas on a five-day pass to marry Francine. After their wedding, Francine went back with Bobby to Camp Polk to pathetic living conditions.

In their first apartment, they only had one room, and it didn’t have a door; they had to hang a blanket over the doorway for privacy, and they shared a bathroom. But as Francine noted, they were in love and they hardly noticed the inconveniences.

After about six months in Hokkaido, Japan, in 1951, Bobby’s unit shipped out to Korea, eventually arriving at the combat zone. He had to cook Christmas dinner while they were on the move, and he had to prepare it outdoors — there was no tent for the kitchen.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • Necessary services may be reduced

    Editor, The Transcript: There were criticisms of the Oklahoma Senate bill for a test project to privatize management of Medicaid; however, no one mentioned a critical issue of reduced services for the more needy of our society....

    April 20, 2014

  • Enforcement not the issue

    Editor, The Transcript: The government is legally right in the U.S. Government vs. Bundy Ranch matter....

    April 20, 2014

  • Family thanks community, takes issue with photo

    Editor, The Transcript: As I write this, it’s been almost eight weeks since Feb. 17, the day my family’s home burned in a fire. We lost our 15-year-old cat, Misti; 7-year-old dog, Sully; 3-year-old rescue squirrel, Rocky; almost 2-year-old ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014