Military Records

Seminole County, Oklahoma


If you have a Seminole County Veteran or family member who has served, or is currently in the service, I would like to acknowledge them on this page.


Veterans of Seminole County:

Even heroes die 
Most WWII vets already gone 
BY JERRY SCHWARTZ of  The Associated Press
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John R. Crews kept his past in an old cedar chest. He didn't visit it much; mostly, 
he lived in the here and now, a churchgoing man who worked as a plant foreman and 
raised four kids. 

But each Memorial Day, he would reach into that chest and retrieve ribbon and metal, 
mementos of his bravery a half-century ago, when he was a young man. There was a Purple 
Heart, Silver and Bronze Stars, and a golden star, rarest of all, emblazoned with a single 
world: "Valor."  And then, with that Medal of Honor dangling from his neck, he would lay a 
wreath for all those who did not come back from war. 

This year, when the roll of Oklahoma's war dead is read, John Crews will not be there to 
hear it. He died of a heart attack Sept. 25. He was 78. 

His obituary appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, in newspapers far from 
Bowlegs, Okla., where he grew up. He was, after all, the recipient of the nation's greatest 
honor.

Jon Crews remembers being 6 or 7 when some old Army buddies came to visit his father, and 
from their conversation he caught glimpses of the heroism John Crews had never discussed. 
In April 1945, near Lobenbacherhof, Germany, Staff Sgt. Crews and two others stormed an enemy
stronghold. One man was killed and the other seriously wounded. Crews pressed on alone. At 
point-blank range, he killed two Germans who were firing a machine gun. Then he wrested a 
rifle from another. And then, though badly wounded in the thigh, he attacked an automatic 
rifle placement. Seven of the enemy were so unnerved that they surrendered, while others 
fled. 

"I know he thought about it virtually every day," says another son, Mark. He came back a 
changed man -- quieter, more devout in his Southern Baptist faith. He didn't want disability 
pay for his war injury. It was a stigma. He wanted to make his way in the world. If he talked 
more about the war in his later years, it was because his 13 grandchildren asked him to, and,
well, grandchildren always get their way. 

He left another legacy: His son Mark is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and teaches at 
the Air Force Academy. He knows that he was inspired by his modest, heroic father.  "I always
felt like Dad was a real hero," he says. "People are always looking for heroes, and I had one
in my own home."

Submitted by: jackflak@earthlink.net (JackFlak)
 
Revolutionary War

WAR of 1812
Civil War World War I World War II KOREAN CONFLICT: Vietnam War GULF WAR: (AKA "Desert Storm")

WAR Against Terrorism - 2001


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Created and maintained by Rebecca Ramsey - okcosemino@usgennet.org Copyright 2001, 2002 by Rebecca Ramsey Updated: Thursday, 11-Jul-2002 22:53:04 CDT