Oct 2018: Marshall Billy Walker
US Army, Korea 1949-1953
Born October 17, 1930 in Tennessee, Marshall Walker grew up on a farm in Tipton County. He attended Burlison School in the Gilt Edge area of Tipton County and completed eighth grade. As the son of a farmer, he was expected to devote his time to farming after eighth grade.
At nineteen he was drafted into the United States Army. After completing basic training in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, he spent seventeen days on a carrier that took him to Japan to attend cooking school for six weeks. Once completed, it was off to Korea where he used his new skills as a cook to fortify Company A, 1343rd Engineer Combat Battalion, which was responsible for building roads in Korea. Being from Tipton County, Private First Class Walker found the Korean winter extremely cold, especially since they did not have adequate clothing or equipment for the climate. Much of what they were issued was left over from World War II. His close friend lost several toes to frostbite that winter because neither the shoes nor the socks were adequate protection against the extreme cold. For his service to our country, he was awarded the Korea Service Medal with Bronze Star and Overseas Service Bar.
After being honorably discharged in January of 1953, Marshall moved to the Memphis area to marry his sweetheart, Bonnie McClain, and for employment with Kimberly Clark. He and Bonnie had met five years earlier at the General Store in Randolph but waited for the Korean War to end before they got married. He had a fruitful forty-two year career with Kimberly Clark before retiring and moving back to Tipton County in 1979. He and Bonnie have been married sixty five years. They had five children; sadly, one of their daughters is deceased. They have nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He and Bonnie are members of Brighton Church of Christ where Marshall is an elder.
He was nominated for Veteran of the Month by his daughter Myra Walker, who lives in Texas.