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EKU Honors veterans and those former soldiers who passed with ceremony

Richmond Register - 5/29/2024

May 28—On Memorial Day morning at Eastern Kentucky University, the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, along with the university and community members added eight more dogtags to the EKU Veterans Memorial statue in Carloftis Gardens.

The honorees were Ben Tureman, Brett P. Benton, Clark Whitt, Fred Edwards, Henry Gerald Gish (who went Missing In Action on 3/11/1968), James Lee Farris, Rufus O. Harris and Terry A. Morris.

Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley was in attendance and spoke at the event. He said that knowing the background and meaning of Memorial Day, it is important to speak the names of these brave people, he was also reminded of an African Proverb.

"That proverb says: 'As long you speak my name, I shall live forever,' and I hope that we will tell the stories of these brave soldiers,' Mayor Fraley said.

According to Jane Clouse, a daughter of Rufus Harris, Harris has an interesting story.

talked about his comrades around him in the service rather than talk about his own involvement with the war.

"Daddy was in the Navy and was very proud of his service," Clouse said.

Clouse said that he served in the Pacific Theater and served on the USS Calvert and loaded ammunition, the firing of the weapons damaged his hearing. Harris also drove Higginbottom boats.

Higginbottom boats took troops to the beach from the ship. During an instance where Harris was driving a Higginbottom boat, another boat was hit in front of Harris and he showed such courage in the situation that officers on the Calvert took notice and sent him to Hawaii for 'secret' training, Clouse told the Register.

She said that it turned out the family learned this year what that secret training was from his brother.

"We later found out that he was sent to a six-month training and in that training, he was training the precursors to the Navy SEALs." Clouse said.

Those teams were known as Underwater Demolition Teams, or UDT for short.

Clouse also said that Harris garnered the nickname "Frog" which she never understood until she what the group was called during their training.

The term?

Frogmen.

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