Veteran recalls WWII service

By BRENT MAZE,

Richard Horton is one of the last surviving veterans of World War II in Newton County.

The 93-year-old still works around the house and has a sharp memory of his time in the service.

Horton went into the U.S. Navy and served on the U.S.S. Martin destroyer, which was sent to Yokohama, Japan. He was a diesel mechanic third class and served from 1943 to 1946.

For Horton, he knew that he wanted to go into the Navy.

“They asked us to raise our hands if we wanted to go into the Navy, and I did,” Horton said. “I didn’t want to go into the Army.”

The salary wasn’t much, according to Horton. The pay was $100 a month. 

“You didn’t get much pay, but we were serving our country,” Horton said. “It was an interesting time in our history.”

Horton, like many other Newton County veterans who have relatives at Newton County Elementary School, participated in the school’s Veterans Honor Walk earlier this month.

About 80 veterans walked along the covered walkways and hallways of the school while the students cheered them on. Horton said he thought it was great what Newton County’s students were doing.

“It’s an honor to get to participate in this,” Horton said. “I think this is the first year that they did this, and I think it’s just great for the school to honor us veterans like this.”