Valdosta Daily Times

June 7, 2014

Cook pays tribute to D-Day veterans

Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times

SPARKS — Seventy years ago, Raymond Fiveash was waiting.

A quartermaster and truck driver with the Army, Fiveash was waiting for Allied troops to take that 50-mile stretch of Normandy coastline.

It was a long wait, a hard wait. All told, it was about a week from June 6, 1944, when Fiveash was able to put tire to ground.

“We hauled soldiers, gasoline, ammunition, everything really,” said Fiveash.

There were times during his service when he was scared, particularly of V-1 flying bombs and V-2 missiles, but who wouldn’t be with the V-1’s

characteristic rumbling motorcycle sound and the V-2’s range?

Even after the war, Fiveash kept driving, taking displaced persons from the war ended them up to the towns and cities they were from.

Eventually, in December 1945, he got to take himself home, making it just in time for Christmas.

Friday morning, Cook Countians gathered at the Horsecreek Winery tasting room to honor and remember D-Day’s 70th anniversary and men like Raymond Fiveash, Harry Whiddon, Gaines Castleberry, William Harrell and Bud Paulk who served in World War II.

“They were our fathers, grandfathers, uncles and cousins,” said Tom Skinner before reading off a list of Cook County soldiers lost in World War II.

Korean War veterans Leroy Castleberry, Thomas E. Crosby, Hoyt Holland and Robert R. Schultze were also honored.

Quilts of Valor presented quilts to the World War II and Korean War veterans.

“If we forget history, if we forget what we fought for, we’re going to lost the country,” said Ed Perry. “It’s essential to the future of the country.”

Horsecreek Winery will continue their 70 Anniversary of D-Day on Saturday from 8 a.m. until midnight, with vehicles and tanks from World War II on display outside and uniforms, firearms and accoutrement of World War II on display inside and food and drink on hand.

The Michael Allman Band will also perform.