April 25, 2012 - Dallas Cooley

Looking through his old war photos and memorabilia, James Dallas Cooley has fond memories of the time he served overseas in the Korean War. A musician before the war, Cooley helped entertain the troops on the way over.

"We organized a band on the ship," recalled Cooley. "We put on three shows a day for the troops until we got close to Enchon."

Once he arrived in Korea, Cooley immediately went to work in the Army's artillery division. He volunteered to evacuate wounded and dead soldiers from Heart Break Ridge and Mt. Baldy, even though his unit had already retreated.

"Well, I felt it was my duty to try and get those boys laying on the hill. Somebody had to go get them. Of course, we were glad to come back down."

Cooley received two Bronze stars for his effort. He said if there's one thing he learned from the war, was how important it was to cooperate.

"I think I learned that if you work together, you can get things done. If you against one another, you're not going to get anything done. Just like our government right now. We're so divided, I don't know if we'll ever get back like it was."

Cooley is also a Louisiana Grand Champion fiddler and is a member of the Louisiana Country Music Hall of Fame.