October 5, 2011 - Bill Abshire

Retired Tech Sgt. Bill Abshire has served in both the U.S. Navy and Air Force.  He first served on board the USS Collett, a famous ship during the Battle of Enchon, known as one of the "galloping ghosts of the Korean coast."

"Our ship used as a sitting duck between the island and Enchon.  McArthur needed someone to draw out the fire because they were so deeply embedded in the landside that the bombs couldn't get to them and the shells couldn't get to them."

In fact, the USS Orleck, now docked in Lake Charles, served with the Collett in Korea.

"I'm hosting a reunion now.  The Navy personnel that served on the Collett chose Lake Charles over Hawaii because of the Orleck, because it'll bring back memories of the task force operation in Korea."

Later, Abshire joined the Air Force.  He served in Vietnam and helped return the bodies of those killed in battle.

"We brought them back to the air base, where they went through the morgue procedures and prepared their bodies for shipment home.  My job after that was making sure that when the transfer cases that they ship them over on, go t processed properly with all the high esteem honors to an American soldier, and made sure their bodies got home to their American families."

He said he helped send home the bodies of many American soldiers he had trained earlier in the states.  For his 35 years of service, this week we honor Bill Abshire as this week's Hometown Patriot.

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