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Ernest Bowling

Dec 2016: Ernest Bowling
US Army, Korea, 1950-1953

Ernest Bowling is the December 2016 Veteran of the Month. He was born in southeastern Kentucky on October 30, 1931. After graduating from high school and with his only other options for employment being in the coal mining or timber industries, he joined the U.S. Army. In October 1950 he completed basic training in Ft. Knox and was shipped directly to Korea. He was there when the Chinese attached and earned his Purple Heart on February 11, 1951, in a battle against North Korean and Chinese enemy forces at Sang-Sok, Korea. That September Ernest transferred to Ft. Benning, Georgia, where he was honorably discharged in 1953.

He returned home to Kentucky where, in November 1955, he completed vocational school to become a machinist. With no jobs available, Ernest joined the U.S. Air Force in January of 1956. His duty stations included Freising, Germany; Hamilton AFB, San Francisco; and Pease AFB, Illinois. Following his honorable discharge in 1960, he worked for the Kentucky State Highway Department for several years. In September of 1967, he joined the U.S. Navy and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His other Navy duty stations were Bermuda, Diego Garcia, Memphis, Hawaii, and Japan.

After his retirement in 1984, Ernest enjoyed a 10-year civilian career as a private contractor working for the Navy. During his military career, Ernest earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean Service Medal (four awards), Air Force Longevity Service Award, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (two awards), Fleet Marine Combat Operations Insignia, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Navy Good Conduct Medal (four awards).

In 1994, Ernest and his wife, Amy Jean Couch Bowling, retired to their home in Munford. They have one son who lives in Tipton County and one daughter who lives in Florida. Sadly, Amy Jean passed away 15 months ago. Ernest attends the Chapel at NSA Mid-South in Millington and is a member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 116 in Munford.

He was nominated for Veteran of the Month by his son Lonnie.