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Sparkman honored for service
Warren County Commissioner Tyrone Sparkman, right, led the Pledge of Alliance during February’s session of the Warren County Legislative Body. He was drafted into the U.S. Army on June 6, 1966. Sparkman was presented a plaque by County Commission chair Blaine Wilcher for his dedicated service. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

Military draft notification letters are used when a crisis occurs which requires more troops than the volunteer military can supply. 

Commissioner Tyrone Sparkman received his draft notice May 27, 1966. 

“Serving my country in combat as an infantryman gave me an opportunity to experience conditions I would not have had otherwise,” said Sparkman, who rose to the rank of sergeant E-5. “My country allowed me to walk through the valley of death with some of the best men this world has ever witnessed. I am blessed that I met them. I was blessed to serve my country.”

He was chosen to lead the Pledge of Allegiance during February’s meeting of the Warren County Commission. 

Sparkman’s draft notification stated, “Greetings, you have been inducted into the Armed Forces of the United States.” 

Two weeks later, on June 6, he left on a Greyhound bus along with 42 other men who had also been drafted into the Army. The group went to Nashville to be sworn in and then to Fort Benning, Ga., to begin basic training.

Twelve weeks later, he received orders for Advanced Infantry Training in Fort Sill. He was then sent to Korea. 

Sparkman served 14 months in Korea in combat in the 3rd Battalion, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division. His battalion was assignment to Korea’s Demilitarized Zone, north of the Imjin River.

In December 1967, Sparkman received orders to return to the United States and was sent to California’s Ford Ord where he was a supply clerk issuing supplied to basic trainees. He continued to serve actively until June 8, 1968 and he remained in Army Reserves until May 1971. 

Sparkman received the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Sharpshooter M-14, and Imjin Scout Insignia from Korea for Commendable Service in Operational Mission along the Demilitarized Zone Korea.

Today, the Demilitarized Zone in Korea is still considered one of the most dangerous borders in the world.