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Picture of the day - August 16, 2008

Samuel Hugh Helton

Photo of Mr. Samuel Hugh Helton.
Photo courtesy of Doug Thomson.              Narrative courtesy of Fran Thomson.

Today's picture features one very proud American soldier, Mr. Hugh Helton of Saltville, Virginia. Photographer Doug Thomson shot this portrait at the Grand Opening of a new wing of Saltville's Museum of the Middle Appalachians on April 5, 2008. Doug's mother Fran Thomson provided the following information about the storied life of Mr. Helton:
    "Samuel Hugh Helton, of Saltville, 90 years old, has a story to tell.
    He holds 3 honorable discharges from the Armed Services of the
    United States of America. Mr. Helton served in the US Army from
    1937 to 1940 and was honorably discharged. After a short period of
    time, he went back into the service, this time joining the Merchant
    Marines (a branch of the Coast Guard at the time). Again he served
    his time and was given another honorable discharge from the Coast

    Several decades passed, and in 1986 the government decided the
    Merchant Marines was a branch of service in its own right so Mr.
    Helton was given an honorable discharge from the Merchant Marines.
    He is proud to say that he can still wear his uniform from the military.

    Mr. Helton is very proud of his service and tells stories of some of
    his adventures. One of those stories is that he served as Honor
    Guard on the White House steps under the presidency of Franklin
    Delano Roosevelt. He actually served as guard to the visiting King
    Edward VIII of the United Kingdom who abdicated the throne for his
    love of a woman, Wallis Simpson. And speaking of loving a woman,
    Mr. Helton has been married to his wife Christine Colley Helton for
    over 60 years! God Bless Our Veterans!"
        --Fran Thomson

Visitor Comments...
    Name: Ron Trees
    Town: Spokane, WA

    I love today's picture of Mr. Hugh Helton. God bless our Veterans indeed!!

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