Can you hear the music?

You’re only a click away from your favorite tunes

By Cecil H. Yancy Jr.

The Rolling Stones asked, “Can you hear the music?” And the answer is, yes! You can easily listen on your computer or mobile device anytime you like.
Digital music services offer you two ways to listen to old favorites or explore new artists.

A download captures the music on your computer for use in the future — think of being able to burn a CD or play the music by clicking on a file from your computer. On the other hand, music streaming is like having a steady flow of music coming into your computer. Just click and create stations from artists you choose.

While downloads have their advantages, streaming appears to be the wave of the future. By this year, according to a Pew Research Institute study, as many as 80 percent of Americans will listen to audio on digital devices. While 51 percent of all adults say they listen to music on these devices, age makes a big difference in music habits, according to the study. More than 60 percent of millennials and 58 percent of Gen Xers listen to music online compared with 48 percent of younger Boomers. Older Americans tend to prefer the traditional AM/FM radio format. But streaming music is getting so easy, music lovers of all ages can jump on board.

Open the box to music streaming

Woman Listening To Music On Her TabletPandora opened the box with one of the first online Internet radio services. With Pandora, you can listen free for 40 hours per month, with advertisements. Pay $36 a year and get the music without commercials. It’s easy to use. Say you like Johnny Cash: Type in his name and a “radio station” of his songs and those of similar audiences will begin playing. The best part is Pandora gives you background information about the artist as the music is playing. You can even skip a certain number of songs you don’t like.

New releases and exclusives

Spotify is another big player in the music-streaming arena. It has a 20-million-plus song catalog from the major record labels, which can be organized into playlists that allow users to stream their own lists or lists from friends or celebrities. The basic features are free after downloading the application, or the premium version is $9.99 per month. Music on Spotify can be imported from iTunes and synced with a mobile device so you can make your favorite songs available anywhere you go!

Create your own iTunes station

In addition to 25 DJ-curated and genre-based stations, iTunes Radio allows you to create personalized radio stations or follow “guest DJ” stations from famous artists. You can pause, skip and playback with iTunes Radio and even buy the tune you’re currently listening to. If you have an iTunes Match Account for $25 per year, it’s ad-free. iTunes Radio is a great merge between a download provider and a streaming service.

A couple of clicks and no cost

Silver Ear Bud HeadphonesIf you’re leaning toward listening to music online, but a bit overwhelmed by the choices, check out sites that only require a couple of clicks to get started and are designed to be more like your radio.

Sites like Boomerradio.com and Bluegrassmix.com offer an easy way to listen to your favorite tunes, with either stations or DJs that pick the tunes. On the Bluegrass site, DJs host shows. On the Boomer Radio site, users can pick from moods like acoustic café, sweet soul music and classic mix.

Perfectly Imperfect

For the everyday home

A Q&A with Shaunna West, a blogger from Troy, Alabama, who writes about everything from painting furniture to decorating to homeschooling. 

Shaunna West

Shaunna West

What will readers find at your blog?
Shaunna West: Perfectly Imperfect is a window into our lives. You’ll find DIY projects, furniture makeovers, before-and-after room makeovers, shop talk, topics on running a creative business and even a few family posts.

Why did you become a blogger, and how has blogging changed your life?
SW: I have been writing since I was a little girl, and in 2009, I needed to write. I began sharing my furniture-painting techniques and the process of our attic renovation, and soon, the blog became a business and a place for people to seek inspiration for their everyday homes. The community and readers at Perfectly Imperfect took me completely by surprise. There is a world of people interested in the same things you are, and if you’re lucky, you’ll even develop relationships with these incredible people. The Internet can be used for such good, and its reach is incredible. I’m grateful for PI, for my readers and for their willingness to listen to what I have to say.

What are some big trends in decorating this spring and summer?
SW: Any time you gear into spring and summer, people are going to be looking to brighten and lighten their homes. There are lots of beautiful metallics out there and lots of blues and golds and greens as far as colors. Anything you can do to try and make your home feel fresh and clean. Spring is the time when we all begin to organize and begin to purge and pare down and only have what’s necessary in the home. Homes should be functional and efficient as well as beautiful.

Check out her blog: www.PerfectlyImperfectBlog.com

Shaunna’s tips for changing your home on a budget

living roomKeep in mind that your home is your sanctuary away from the busyness of the world. Take the time to create spaces you enjoy and that create rest for you and your family.

If you’re feeling like your home has become dark and dreary, give the walls a fresh coat of paint in lighter neutrals. It will instantly brighten your space. My favorites are Benjamin Moore White Diamond, Sherwin Williams Sea Salt, Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice and Sherwin Williams Comfort Gray.

Save and invest in key pieces like your sofa and armchairs, and shop flea markets and antique malls for small end tables and dressers. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll save when you allow time for your space to come together.
Paint everything in sight. Seriously, paint is the cheapest and fastest way to transform your home. Have a coffee table you love, but hate how beaten up it is? Paint it, and you will have a new piece of furniture in a few hours.

Whatever your interest, there is likely an online community of people who share that interest with you. Our “Featured Blogger” series introduces you to people who write websites about a variety of topics. In the May/June issue, we’ll focus on marriage and relationships.

Other home/DIY blogs you might like:

www.TheLetteredCottage.net
Layla shares her love of cottage style with readers.

www.BeneathMyHeart.net
Tracey describes herself striving to create beauty in her heart and in her home.

www.thistlewoodfarms.com
KariAnne shares her transition from the big city to a slower-paced, happier life.

 

A nation divided: 150 years later

Relive history on a tour of these prominent Civil War battlefields

By Robert Thatcher

This year, the country will conclude its 150th anniversary remembrance of the Civil War. But don’t worry if you missed the reenactments and fanfare over the past four years. Take this trip on US Highway 41 from Kentucky through Middle Tennessee to find plenty of history while tracing pivotal battles in America’s most costly war.

Stop #1 – Fort Donelson National Battlefield
Where Ulysses Grant became a household name

Fort Donelson National Battlefield, on the banks of the Cumberland River just south of the Kentucky border, is a natural starting point for a drive through Middle Tennessee. It’s also a good beginning militarily.

Dover Hotel

Dover Hotel

“Almost everything that happened in the state is a sequel to what happened here,” says Doug Richardson, Fort Donelson’s chief of interpretation.

Rivers were arteries of commerce for the South, and the Confederates built Fort Donelson to protect the Cumberland and upstream cities like Clarksville and Nashville

But on Feb. 12, 1862, a little-known Union brigadier general named Ulysses S. Grant set his sights on Fort Donelson. He was confident of victory after his gunboats easily took nearby Fort Henry on the Tennessee River.

Donelson was not so easy. Well-positioned Confederate guns brought victory, setting up a successful “break out” through Union lines. But the victory was short-lived, as the Confederates unwittingly helped Grant by pulling troops back to their original positions. Grant retook the lost ground, and the 12,000-man garrison surrendered unconditionally. The battle made Grant a star and was a catastrophe for the South.

Touring Fort Donelson

The park preserves more than 20 percent of the original battlefield, with several square miles of earthwork fortifications. Don’t miss these highlights:

  • Stand at the gun batteries where Confederate gunners battered Grant’s gunboats.
  • Visit the Dover Hotel where Ulysses S. Grant demanded “unconditional surrender” from his old West Point friend, Confederate Simon Buckner.
  • Pause at Fort Donelson National Cemetery for a reminder of the sacrifices that Americans have made from the Civil War to the present day.
  • While absorbing the history, you may also encounter two notable park residents. “We’ve got two resident bald eagles who live down at the river,” Richardson says. “Our eagles are about as famous as our generals.”

Stop #2 – Stones River National Battlefield
The Fight for the Confederate Heartland

We could follow General Grant to the Mississippi line and Shiloh, where his Army of the Tennessee headed after Donelson, but there’s good reason to drive to Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro.

“When Fort Donelson falls, the Confederates have to give up Nashville,” explains Park Ranger Jim Lewis. “And Nashville becomes the base for the Union Army to launch the campaigns which will lead to Stones River, Chickamauga and Chattanooga.”

For many, Stones River is a quiet retreat from bustling Murfreesboro. But the 6,100 gravestones across from the visitor center are a sober reminder of what took place there. Of the 81,000 who fought here, 23,000 were killed, wounded or went missing in action — the highest percentage of casualties of any Civil War battle.

Early success, then retreat

Cemetery at Stones River

Cemetery at Stones River

On New Year’s Eve 1862, the Southern army under Braxton Bragg attacked first, catching William Rosecrans’ Union troops at breakfast and driving them north. Then on Jan. 2, the Confederates launched another attack along the east bank of the Stones River to drive Union troops off of a high hill.

“In the process of pursuing, those Confederates will come under the fire of 57 Union cannons along the other side of the river and will lose about 1,800 men in 45 minutes,” Lewis says. “That’s a pretty bloody exclamation point.”

The Confederates then retreated.

Touring Stones River

Stones River offers a 12-stop auto tour, including these sights:

  • Walk around The Slaughter Pen, a rock outcropping where Union troops made a stubborn stand.
  • Pay respect at the Hazen Brigade Monument, one of the oldest war monuments in the country.
  • Be awed by Fort Rosecrans, the largest earthworks fortification in North America.

Stop #3 – Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
The Death Knell of the Confederacy

We’ve followed the Union push to Nashville and Murfreesboro. The next stop is Chattanooga. Actually, we’ll go south of the city to Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

Re-enactments, like this one near Chickamauga, Ga., can bring history to life, but battlefields throughout the Southeast are interesting places to visit anytime.

Re-enactments, like this one near Chickamauga, Ga., can bring history to life, but battlefields throughout the Southeast are interesting places to visit anytime.

Driving to the park, you’ll cross the mountains that convinced General Rosecrans not to advance directly on Chattanooga. He moved southwest of the city to block supply lines, forcing Confederate troops into Georgia as well. But Chattanooga was the Union goal.

“Chattanooga is a doorway through the southern barrier of the Appalachians,” says Park Historian Jim Ogden.

Driving through the dense woods of the 5,300-acre park, you can see why confusion reigned in the war’s second-bloodiest battle. About 35,000 men were killed, wounded, missing or captured in fighting from Sept. 19-20, 1863. Strategic mistakes led to a Union retreat. The Union troops retreated to Chattanooga, where they withstood a two-month siege before ultimately breaking through in the battle of Chattanooga.

“This allowed the Union drive across Georgia in 1864, from Chattanooga to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Savannah,” Ogden notes.

Touring Chickamauga

Start at the visitor center on Lafayette Road. After touring the park, drive 17 miles to Lookout Mountain Battlefield for views from 1,500 feet above Chattanooga. Other key sites:

  • Stand on Snodgrass Hill where George Thomas became “The Rock of Chickamauga.”
  • Get a general’s view from Orchard Knob, Grant’s command post, and the Bragg Reservation, Confederate headquarters on Missionary Ridge.
  • Watch the conflict electronically at the Battles for Chattanooga Museum on Lookout Mountain.

Chattanooga was a major blow for the Confederacy. But there’s much more to see on the campaign South – Tunnel Hill, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain all the way to Savannah and then into South Carolina. The war continued on and your trip can too. Visit nps.gov/civilwar for more sites from the War Between the States.

Tech-Savvy Traveler: Charting your course

Point Park Cannon

Point Park Cannon

Robert E. Lee is regarded by many as the most clever battle tactician of the Civil War. Imagine what he could have done with a GPS! Nowadays, it’s easy to come up with a battle plan and map out the route for you and your troops on your next vacation. Apps like Google Earth provide directions for tourists with aerial or street views of those historic sites from Gettysburg to Charleston. For those battling interstate traffic, Road Ninja is an app that will help you find fuel, food and shelter for the evening, keeping your small army on the move.

Email overload? Manage your inbox with these simple tips

With so much importance placed on email in today’s business world, managing your messages can be overwhelming. You can benefit from this communications tool without letting it wreck your day by putting a few simple principles into action.

Set an email schedule. If you make yourself available for email all day long, you leave yourself open to constant distraction. Set a schedule of specific times during the day when you will check email. You may have to adjust it to find the schedule that’s right for you, but try starting with once before lunch and again early afternoon. You will feel more freedom than when you are drawn in by every email that lands in your inbox.

Turn off notifications. You can’t stay focused on any one task if your computer provides a pop-up notification every time an email comes in. Turn off that productivity-killing feature. In fact, shut down your email app altogether and only launch it when you are ready to focus on email.

Organize your inbox. Most email apps allow you to set up folders, filters and rules to bring order to your email madness. It may take a few weeks of adjusting to find the approach that best fits you, but the result will be a more organized workspace. Your mail will be in intuitive categories so that you’ll be able to deal with the most important messages first.

Keep it brief. When you send an exhaustive email with hundreds of words and multiple questions and points, you invite an equally exhaustive response that you’ll have to wade through.

Consider alternatives. Email is not for every conversation. In fact, it’s a terrible way to manage a project. Post messages pertaining to a specific project inside tools such as Basecamp or Trello. Having all related conversations in the same place with related notes and action items will help you track progress.

Is email an important part of your business? Do you have any tips for managing email to work more efficiently? Tell us your story at www.BroadbandBuildsBusiness.com.

You’ve got mail

With so many new apps and services to help keep us connected, email is still king in the business world

TelcoBadgeProof2From instant messaging applications such as Skype to social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, the past few years have brought us many new options for connecting electronically. And yet, when it comes to communicating in business, email remains the method of choice.

In the report “Technology’s Impact on Workers,” released by Pew Research Center at the end of last year, 61 percent of workers who use the Internet say that email is very important to doing their job.

“The high value of email comes despite the challenges of the past generation,” the report states, “including threats like spam and phishing and competitors like social media and texting.”

Email’s continued reign as the communications tool of choice has its benefits. The study found that 39 percent of workers believe that email, along with the Internet and cell phones, allows them more flexibility in the hours they work.

The downside to that flexibility, however, is that 35 percent — almost the same amount — say these tools have increased the amount of time they spend working.

BBB chart

Landline? You still need one in 2015

Today, mobility means everything. We want to check email, log onto Facebook, watch videos, get the news and generally stay connected no matter where we are. And that, of course, includes the ability to make phone calls. With mobile phones in practically everyone’s pocket, some people question the need for a traditional landline. But consider this:

  1. With a landline, you never have to worry about signal strength. Knowing you can get a call through, especially during an emergency, is more than a comfort.
  2. Speaking of emergencies, your landline sends your complete address information — including apartment number — when you dial 911. Cell phones use GPS-based information, which can be inaccurate.
  3. The clarity of a conversation on a landline (if you have a quality wired or cordless handset) is unmatched by any cell phone call.
  4. With the right plan, you’ll never run out of minutes with a landline.
  5. Your “home phone number” provides a way people can always reach you or leave a message. When everyone in the house has their own cell phone with separate numbers, the landline can serve as a central point of contact for the entire family.

The search for better broadband should start with existing local providers

NEW NTCA logo 4CRural connections

By Shirley Bloomfield, CEO
NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association

There is no question that broadband Internet service is the key to economic and community development, especially in rural America. However, there are differing opinions in Washington about the best way to continue building our nation’s connected infrastructure.

While I applaud President Obama’s recent attention on increasing every American’s access to robust and affordable broadband, it’s not clear that his focus on creating more government-run networks in marketplaces where private operators already exist is the best path toward bringing more jobs and opportunity to rural America.

If our leaders are looking for an excellent model for what can be accomplished, we believe they should turn to the experts who have decades of experience deploying and maintaining modern telecommunications infrastructure: community-based, independent telcos like yours.

Rural telecommunications providers are delivering advanced technology to their customers.

Rural telecommunications providers are delivering advanced technology to their customers.

Nationwide, there are over 1,000 technology providers like yours that serve over 4 million households in the most sparsely populated pockets of our country, deploying high-speed, high-quality broadband services. For decades, these providers have gone above and beyond to build the infrastructure that allows our country’s most rural markets to access the same technologies found in our largest cities — and they’ve done it all under the extremely difficult financial and physical conditions that come with deploying technologies in rural and remote communities.

Thanks to the hard work and commitment of companies such as your local provider, rural America now has access to affordable broadband in some of the most remote locations. But the sustainability of those networks is at risk, and other areas need broadband as well. Policymakers in search of answers to these communications challenges in rural America should turn first to those who have shown they can get the job done time and again, rather than casting about for the next new thing, creating regulatory uncertainty and putting at risk significant investments already made in existing networks through the prospect of redundant or wasteful overbuilding.

There’s already a great broadband success story out there in rural America, and it is being written by community-based telecom providers like yours. As our national broadband story progresses, we should strive to build upon proven initiatives and leverage existing efforts that are working, rather than pursue new uncharted pathways. As this debate plays out, you can be assured that you have a voice in Washington, as your provider joins with hundreds of others through NTCA as the unified voice of America’s rural broadband companies.

Scholarship winner pursues dream

Brianna Lindon grew up with three Australian shepherds and 18 horses — so no one was surprised when she decided she wanted to be a veterinarian.

Brianna Lindon’s love of animals led her to pursue a career as a veterinarian. She is a freshman at Morehead State University.

Brianna Lindon’s love of animals led her to pursue a career as a veterinarian. She is a freshman at Morehead State University.

“I’ve just always loved animals,” she says.

Lindon is well on her way to realizing her dream. She is a freshman at Morehead State University majoring in pre-veterinary science. She is helped along the way thanks to a scholarship from Mountain Telephone.

“It really helped me out a lot,” she says. “It is a big help in paying for my tuition and books.”

Lindon, a 2013 graduate from Morgan County High School, was one of 17 students from Morgan, Menifee, Elliott, Wolfe and Bath counties that won a combined total of $48,000 in scholarships from Mountain in 2013.

Mountain has awarded scholarships since 1988 when it first partnered with Morehead State University. Through the partnership, the students must attend MSU. Mountain will pay half of the scholarship funds, and MSU will cover the remainder. Over the past 25 years, Mountain has awarded scholarships to more than 400 students.

“We are really grateful for the partnership with Morehead State that enables us to offer scholarships to these hardworking and deserving students,” says Shayne Ison, general manager at Mountain.

Each year, an independent committee typically selects four students from Wolfe, Morgan, Menifee and Elliott counties and one student from Bath County to receive the four-year scholarships.

The scholarship amount was $2,500 per year from 1988 to 2009. Beginning with the 2010 graduating class, the scholarship amount increased to $3,000 per year. The scholarships are awarded based on the students’ grade point average, teacher recommendations and written essays.

Lindon says she wrote about what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she hasn’t wavered from that. She wrote about her love of animals and her desire to study animal sciences.

While in high school, Lindon was active in the FFA program and played both basketball and volleyball for the Cougars. This past fall she worked part time at the White Oak Pumpkin Patch, and she is now focused on her studies and enjoying the college experience.

“It’s a lot different than I thought it would be, but I am really enjoying it,” she says.

Once she completes her undergraduate studies at MSU, she plans to attend veterinary school at either Auburn University or the University of Tennessee — two of the South’s premiere veterinary schools.

“Ever since I was little, I always wanted to be a vet,” she says. “The scholarship from Mountain is really helping me out.”

For more information about scholarships from Mountain, visit www.mrtc.com.

Science is cool!

Elliott County couple teaching kids about wonders of science

By Brian Lazenby

Alan Kuehner stands on an insulated step and holds his hand to a motorized metal contraption. His hair and his snow-white beard begin to rise and stand on end as the electric charge builds.

Alan Kuehner and his wife, Nancy, perform a variety of experiments in area schools hoping to inspire students with a love of science.

Alan Kuehner and his wife, Nancy, perform a variety of experiments in area schools hoping to inspire students with a love of science.

The contraption, known as a Van de Graaff machine, is an electrostatic generator that uses a moving belt to accumulate electrical potential on a hollow metal globe on the top of the stand.

Touch it with a metal bowl and you can feel the electric current move through you. Touch it while holding a strand of lights and they begin to glow.

Alan and his wife, Nancy, love science, and they want kids to love it too. That is why the Kuehners travel all over the area with their Van de Graaff generator and other gadgets teaching kids about the wonders of science. They visit many area schools performing experiments and teaching kids how the world works.

“Teachers know they can call us, and we will come to their class,” Nancy says. “There are so many careers out there that involve science. We really need to get kids interested in science during elementary school.”

Alan has an undergraduate degree in education, but much of his career was spent working at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, a research institute in Upton, New York, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, whose tagline is “a passion for discovery.”

Kuehner hopes to inspire students to discover a love of science.

Kuehner hopes to inspire students to discover a love of science.

The Kuehners hope to instill that same passion in kids.

“What I learned there helps me be able to talk to kids about all the jobs out there that involve science,” Alan says.

Nancy doesn’t have a background in science, but she certainly has an interest and has learned a lot from her husband over the years.

The Kuehners tailor each school presentation to the particular age of the kids, and they can focus on a particular topic. The kids will usually make something during the presentation that teaches them a lesson and gives them something to take with them.

They also teach a science and math camp for two weeks every July in Pikeville, where about 100 kids each week spend time emerged in both subjects.

Alan Kuehner uses a Van de Graaff machine to perform science experiments in area schools.

Alan Kuehner uses a Van de Graaff machine to perform science experiments in area schools.

“I always loved teaching kids,” Alan says.

The couple stays extremely busy and has already performed more than 50 presentations at schools so far this year. In addition, the couple works with volunteer organizations such as the Elliott County Fire Department, the American Red Cross, the local 4H Club, the Medical Reserve Corps, the Citizens Emergency Response Team and the Science Olympiad — just to name a few.

It keeps them on the go, but Nancy says she wouldn’t have it any other way. She would like to see more people participate in volunteer activities.

“If everybody in Elliott County would volunteer just one hour a month, think how great our county could be,” she says.

For more information or to schedule a time for them to speak at your school or organization, visit their “Science is Fun” website at http://members.mrtc.com/anvk/indexmobile.html or scan this QR Code.

Honor and Duty

LeMaster honored for his service to his country

By Brian Lazenby

Dan LeMaster survived not one, but two wars during the 21 years he served his country.

But there was a summer day in 1950 when he almost didn’t.

Dan LeMaster saw combat in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was recently awarded for his service.

Dan LeMaster saw combat in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was recently awarded for his service.

LeMaster was part of the U.S. Army’s Task Force Smith, a group of about 540 soldiers that saw some of the first and fiercest fighting of the Korean War. Despite being inexperienced, poorly equipped and highly outnumbered, the unit was sent to hold off the advancing North Korean Army until reinforcements arrived. It was July 5, 1950, in what later became known as the Battle of Osan.

The fighting was fierce, and during the first 24 hours, half of Task Force Smith had been captured or killed.

LeMaster was hunkered down in a foxhole when he was ordered to climb out of his entrenched position to retrieve more ammunition. When he returned moments later, he found that his foxhole had taken a direct hit from an artillery round and had been blown up.

LeMaster, now 85, remembers looking at where he had just been dug-in and knew he was lucky to be alive when so many of the young men fighting beside him were not.

He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions at Osan and left the Army in 1952. But he wasn’t finished. He re-enlisted two years later and saw further combat during the Vietnam War.

TOUR OF HONOR

LeMaster spent much of his life serving his country, and he was recently honored for his service. He and 21 other veterans from Kentucky were recognized by Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit organization created to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices. LeMaster traveled with the group to Washington, D.C., where he toured many of the nation’s war memorials and museums and says it is an experience he will always remember.

“It was a great trip,” says LeMaster. “It meant an awful lot that they would do this for us and honor us like that.”

The group of 22 veterans boarded a plane at the Louisville International Airport for their trip to D.C. During the flight, there was a “mail-call,” where each of the veterans received packages containing gifts and letters from friends, neighbors and area school children expressing their appreciation and gratitude for their service.

LeMaster stands in front of the World War II Memorial while on his tour of Washington, D.C.

LeMaster stands in front of the World War II Memorial while on his tour of Washington, D.C.

LeMaster became emotional when he talked about it.

“That really meant an awful lot,” he says, unable to say much more.

And it wasn’t just the local people that moved him. “One of the most memorable things was the number of people that come there every day to visit the memorials and pay their respects,” he says of the crowds gathered around the various war memorials.

Living most of his life in a small rural community, LeMaster says he was shocked at the amount of traffic in the nation’s capital. One of his most vivid memories from the trip was the police escort they received through the city and the way the sea of cars parted to let them pass.

He was also surprised by the hundreds of people waiting at the Louisville airport to welcome them back home.

“That was a great feeling,” he says. “It was really a wonderful trip.”

SUPPORT AT HOME

When LeMaster was not fighting for his country overseas, he spent much of his time stationed at Fort Knox, where he was tasked with guarding the nation’s gold reserve.

He came home to Lacy Creek to visit in 1961, and while at church, he met Joyce Lewis, who would eventually become his wife and biggest supporter.

She recalls when LeMaster was in Vietnam and says it was the most stressful thing she has ever endured.

“I nearly lost my mind,” she says. “I would get a letter from him telling me where he was. Then they would be talking about that place on the news and would say how bad it was and how many people had been killed.”

Military veterans from Kentucky stand before the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. The group was honored for their service.

Military veterans from Kentucky stand before the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial. The group was honored for their service.

Weeks would often pass before she would hear from him again — weeks she spent worrying and fearing the worst.

“I was just waiting for someone to come and deliver the bad news,” she says. “That’s the way I lived for a year.”

Technology has come a long way since then. Troops serving overseas now have a number of ways to keep in touch with loved ones. There is email, social media and video messaging services — just to name a few.

“These people don’t know how lucky they are,” she says. “I sometimes waited three weeks to hear from him.”

SERVING THOSE THAT SERVED

Thousands of men and women served their country in times of war, and many of them will never get to visit the nation’s capital and the monuments honoring them for their service. That is why Earl Morse, a physician and retired Air Force captain, founded the Honor Flight Network.

He wanted to do something to honor those he served with and the veterans he cared for while working in a health clinic for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The first group was taken to Washington, D.C., in 2005, and the positive feedback drove him to seek out funding and partners to keep the project going. In May 2008, Southwest Airlines stepped up by donating thousands of free tickets, and was named the official commercial carrier of the Honor Flight Network.

“They really went all out for us,” LeMaster says. “They really treated us great and rolled out the red carpet.”

For more information about the Honor Flight Network, to get on the waiting list or to donate to the cause, visit www.honorflight.org.