Heroes Among Us: Harold Anderson
DAWSON, Ga. (WALB) - Every month, WALB and Montlick and Associates join together to say thank you to a South Georgian who has served our country selflessly.
This mont, Dawson native Harold Anderson was honored.
He joined the Army and served in Vietnam as an infantryman.
“My uncle got killed, my cousin got shot, my other uncle got wounded,“ Anderson said. “By the grace of God, I came out without a scratch — well, I’ve got one but I won’t elaborate on that.”
When he got out, he wanted to join the Army National Guard but met a racial barrier.
“You’ll find the most prejudice will be at home,” he said. “At that time, it was basically white. He told me, God rest his soul, ‘it wasn’t time for y’all yet.’”
He was eventually able to join when the federal government pushed to have more Black soldiers in the military.
Overall, he served our country for almost 40 years, including time in the Gulf War.
“All in all, I would say if I had to weigh the prejudice against my accomplishments, my accomplishments would come first,” Anderson said.
In 1995, he worked hard to graduate from the sergeant major’s academy in Texas. He was then appointed to Command Sergeant Major (CSM).
He became the first Black CSM in Georgia Army National Guard history.
After his time in the military, Anderson turned his focus to God, fulfilling a promise he made long before.
“I never had much time to go to church. But, me and my master (sergeant), we would talk on plane trips, even in the war zone, I always promised him that if he let me get through this, when I get through with it all, I would be a faithful member of the church,” Anderson said.
He has certainly kept that promise. He’s now a deacon and the treasurer at Rose Hill Baptist Church.
“I have been retired now 14 years, almost 15. Out of 15 years, I have missed two Sundays of church,” he said.
His faith has helped him reconcile some things he experienced during his service.
“I’ve learned even in war, even in battle, you’ve got to look up to God,” he said.
At 74, he has fought in all kinds of battles, including a few health struggles like prostate and blood cancer. It has all taught him lessons he hopes to pass along to future generations, including his ever-growing family.
“If you look up to God, sometimes it’s not the way you think it should be, but at the end, you can look back and say it’s the best way,” Anderson said. “Number one lesson: be kind to others. Never get to the point that you think you know it all. Always be able to listen. You take those three right there and put them together, you can make it through any war.”
If you know a current military member or veteran you want to nominate for “Heroes Among Us,” click here.
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.