News teams circulated our family for interviews and pictures of the box contents when my Granddaddy passed away in 2012. After several days of media, I wrote my own tribute. As we jump into Memorial Day Weekend, I'm reminded of all the sacrifices our military make that we often take for granite. I'm sharing the story I published highlighting my Granddaddys true heroism from my blog. Hope you enjoy!
AN AMERICAN HERO:
Taylor Counties Oldest Veteran Dies, Vernon Allgood Sr
To capture the heart of an American Hero you have to examine his soul and identify with his leadership. Vernon Allgood Sr passed away on February 17, 2012. To comment on his heroic mannerisms, give you a sense of identification of his morals whether work or personal and his leadership through his faith, family and community.
There are many things we could share regarding the life and adventures of Vernon. The way he diligently served as an active member of Antioch Baptist Church, served on the Deacon committee, passionately drove to every Kiwanis meeting to share and fellowship with friends and family. Maybe we could share the articulate way he spoke firm, strong and decisive. He knew the meaning of looking you in the eye as he spoke and listened to every word during a conversation. Vernon Allgood was a visionary and abundantly strong leader in all that he pursued. His adventures began when he joined the CCC at an early age in Mississippi which brought him to Georgia. He met Dorothy Gaultney Allgood during his work clearing land, building roads and constructing fire towers in Taylor County. It was love at first sight. Vernon and Dorothy eloped and where married in Roberta, Georgia. Their love was strong and stood the battles of time for 77 years up until her recent departure on September 28, 2011. Together they traveled many roads. Destinations were never important only their strength and love for one another, their children Buddy Allgood and Gloria Allgood Alday and their friends and family. Vernon Allgood believed, “Anything you give the world, the world will give you back”. He was firm in belief that, “Your word is your bond and you have to stand behind it”. Vernon practiced what he preached, being firm in actions, beliefs and religion. Character traits that were once instilled in the beliefs of families but over time dissipated as we began to lose the Greatest Generation.
Vernon Allgood served in WWII and marched through numerous countries fighting America’s battles whole heartedly, sacrificing for the United States of America, a country he loved so dearly. He was a man of wisdom, honor and self educated. The stories of war were shared sparingly over the years after returning home a wounded soldier. If anyone did ask questions pertaining to the war, Vernon would quickly respond with, “War Is Hell”. The shrapnel left behind in his knees were a constant reminder of the life of combat war and battle zones. A life Vernon kept sealed within a German ammunition box that was completely off limits to all that sought out to view its contents. Grandson, Jesse Jenkins opened the box upon his death to reveal its contents. Within this little ammunition box were medals of a hero, a tribute to history and a story that had been endlessly held private by a humble man. Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, Sharpe Shooter Pins, Western Union Telegrams informing Dorothy of Vernon’s wounded soldier status overseas and copies of the Macon Telegraph dated back to when the Invasion started along with several editions of the Stars and Stripes News and a Nazi Swastika patch from the uniform of a German Soldier filled this mystery box and brought much surprise. What an amazing story Vernon shared after he passed away at 96 years old. A truly incredible tribute to a man of virtue, morals and longevity of life all packed away in a tiny box lined with German words. This is not only a history lesson regarding the freedom of this country and a story that his family will be sharing throughout time and passing down to generations to come.
Within every community is a hidden gem, an everyday hero in the eyes of some. Vernon Allgood was a hero in the lives of all the people he touched over the years passing along not only history lessons, life lessons and the value of hard work and self education. The community of Taylor County will surely miss the blessings Vernon Allgood brought throughout the years as we say goodbye to an “An American Hero”.