Nov 2015: Leroy Kitchens (Aug. 12, 1925-Sept. 10, 2015)
US Marine Corps, WWII
Leroy Kitchens was born August 12, 1925, in Covington, Tennessee.
He grew up in the Garland area and enlisted in the U.S. Marines on October 29, 1943, in Nashville. The allied invasion of Peleliu, one of the Palau Islands in the western Pacific and a stepping-stone toward Japan, started on September 15, 1944. Private Kitchens was in the first wave of troops to go ashore in the attack and was wounded on October 7, 1944. The Battle of Peleliu resulted in the highest casualty rate of any amphibious assault in American military history: Of the approximately 28,000 Marines and infantry troops who fought for the island, a full 40 percent were wounded or killed.
Private Kitchens received two Purple Hearts for his service and valor during World War II.
After the war, he was honorably discharged, and he returned home to Covington. He married Louise and they were members of Garland Baptist Church, where Leroy served as a Deacon. Leroy was employed by Wooten Trucking and Suburban Propane as a truck driver.
His loving wife Louise passed away in 2007. In 2011, Leroy married Barbara Bringle, who had lost her husband the prior year. Leroy had known Barbara most of her life; in fact, he knew Barbara's parents before they were married.
World War II had a profound effect on Private Kitchens as he suffered from nightmares the rest of his life from his experiences on Peleliu. Leroy Kitchens was nominated for Veteran of the Month by his good friend and Pastor, David Price, in August of 2015. He was selected as the Veteran of the Month for November 2015. Sadly, Private Kitchens passed away unexpectedly shortly after his selection.