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Ashe County Veterans History Project: Joe Gentry

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Joe Gentry's Photos

Military portrait of Joe Gentry
Soldiers posing on sand mound, many with guns

Joe is pictured here on far left, posing with his sling-shot.

Joe Gentry's Story

Joe Gentry first joined the Army on December 2nd, 1955, where he achieved the rank of PFC (E-3). He was with Battery B, 78th MSL Battalion for 2 years as a GM Crewman - Radio Repair. He was released on November 29th,1957.

On October 11th, 1975, Joe joined the 1453rd Transportation Company (later becoming the 1450th Transportation Company) in Jefferson, N.C., where he reached the rank of SGT (E-5). In 1990 Uncle Sam called and sent Joe to Saudi Arabia on October 11th,1990 for Operation Desert Storm where he hauled fuel for in-country operations.

His unit hauled over 8 million gallons working 24/7 for months. Joe retired on May 23rd, 1994, with over 20 years of service. Over his time in the military he received many awards. Some of which are Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation among many others.

Joe had excellent aim with a slingshot and one should never discount their power in conflict (remember David and Goliath?) – they can be excellent survival weapons against both aggressive animals and humans.

One day, Terry Pruitt, stationed with Joe in Saudi Arabia saw him out target shooting at cans with his slingshot.  Terry joked that he couldn't hit something like that and he ought to get some bigger targets.  Joe challenged him to throw his hat up and he'd take aim at that ... and then directing from a side-arm angle Joe shot the bill to Terry's hat completely off.  Terry replied "Dang it, Joe ... that's the only hat I've got!"