Heroes Among Us: Jack Stone
TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - Every month, WALB and Montlick and Associates join together to thank a South Georgian who has served our country selflessly.
Army veteran Jack Stone, who is now 93 years old, was born and raised in Tifton.
In 1950, he left his hometown when he was drafted during the Korean War.
He served as a gun commander protecting facilities in the U.S. for the next several years.
“Out of 24 months, I spent 20 of them in tents,” Stone explained. “That’s why when somebody wants to go camping, I don’t care too much for it.”
24 months turned into seven years in the Army, much of it in the reserves.
Stone has been back home in Tifton for decades.
He started his own business more than 60 years ago.
Over the years, he picked up several side projects aimed at commemorating his fellow servicemembers and veterans.
For instance, in the early 90s, he helped open what is now “Jack Stone Veterans Park” downtown.
The park features a monument with the names of more than 80 men and women from Tifton who were killed in action while fighting for our country.
Stone recounted a conversation with the nephew of a fallen airman whose name was etched on the monument.
“He was a gunner. They shot the airplane down, shot it all to pieces,” Stone said. “Nobody survived. Nobody. That’s the only grave he’s got.”
Stone’s passion to honor his fellow servicemembers continued in 2016. He was one of several veterans who lobbied to get a Veterans Affairs clinic to open in Tifton.
In 2019, he helped open Tifton’s Veterans Museum. The museum’s artifacts and newspaper clippings are one thing, but he’s most proud of the room in the museum which is decorated with dozens of five-by-seven photos.
He said it puts a face to the names of people from Tifton who selflessly served.
“If you came down here, you wouldn’t care about seeing an old Army uniform. You’ve seen a million of them,” Stone explained. “But, if you had your Uncle Bill, if you knew his picture was in here, what would you do? You’d come look at it.”
For this 93-year-old who still works and isn’t quite ready to retire, there’s no slowing down in sight.
He said he will continue working to make sure the faces and sacrifices of these heroes live on forever.
“Say if I wanted to see the Vietnam wall. I’d see a bunch of names. I would not get emotional,” he said. “But if I went to the wall we got over here, I would, because I can put a face to all those names.”
If you know a military member or veteran you want to nominate for WALB News 10′s “Heroes Among Us,” click here.
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