KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL/ABC-Tri-Cities) A Kingsport veteran is sharing a glimpse of his time in the Army.
Arthur Columbus Coclough III left to serve his country, right before the start of his senior year in high school.
Coclough served for 31 years, and during that time, he spent time in Vietnam and in the Middle East during Desert Storm.
“Had a step-grandfather that back in the 60s, used to tell me about his WWII adventure in France,” Coclough said. “My father, he didn’t tell me about his stories until I got back from Vietnam.”
With military ties running deep in his family, Coclough knew without a doubt he would continue the fight for his country’s freedom.
“I knew that that could be one place that I could seek a career,” Coclough said.
Coclough served for 31 years in the Army. Four and a half of those years were in combat.
“During the time when I was in Desert Storm, we always had missions,” he said. “Vietnam was totally different from Desert Storm,” he said. “I was in the combat zone the whole time I was in Vietnam because anytime they give you a weapon, you know that you are in combat zone.”
He reached the rank of Army Sergeant First Class.
“The days were long. The nights were short,” he said.
“Stay with the belief that they’ll come back and be okay,” Linda Coclough, Arthur’s sister said.
His sister is proud of the mark he’s made as a veteran and in the community.
“Like everybody else in the community, just admire him for what he’s contributed, and still with us. He made it back, most of all,” Linda Coclough said.
He now shares his experiences, hoping to help the next person in line who plans to make the same sacrifice.
“The children in the church is the one I really focus on. The stories that they want to hear is not what you want to tell them. Be professional, tactical and just be yourself,” Coclough said.