Photo submitted Kenny Hickman takes a photo with James Stovall after bringing him a pair of BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform).

Photo submitted

Kenny Hickman takes a photo with James Stovall after bringing him a pair of BDUs (Battle Dress Uniform).

They say a soldier never forgets their time serving their country during a war. Most often the soldiers who live through it don't like to talk about the memories, but instead, keep them locked inside hoping the bad can be forgotten. But even though the memories may be hard to stuff down, the pride of being a soldier rises to the top and is carried with them forever as well.

For 86-year-old James Stovall, serving during the Korean War is still something he feels is part of him. He, like aforementioned, does not talk about what happened when he was in the country over 6000 miles away from his home in Russellville, but he does recall the importance he felt and still feels for having to go.

Mr. Stovall is currently living at Creekwood Place Nursing & Rehab Center. He still has a house which he says he will get back to eventually after his leg heals. Being raised below Adairville, Stokey as they call him, had to quit school to help his mom and dad pay the bills.

At age 19 the Army called him up, he says. It was certainly different being sent to basic training all the way in Washington State. It was the first time he had seen an ocean he recalled. But despite the nervousness, he knew he had to go and felt fighting for his country was an important task, one he was proud to take on.

Fast forward over six decades and Stokey still sees it that way, despite the negative memories he doesn't share. This is why when Paula Kennedy Mueller found out all he wanted was a Battle Dress Uniform to wear during his visits to the VA, she immediately began a mission to assure he got one.

Mueller is an administrative office assistant at Creekwood and has a special fondness for Mr. Stovall. He doesn't ask for much, she says, so when he asked for this, she wanted to make it happen for him.

"My brother-in-law Kenny Hickman is a retired Blackhawk Crew Chief with the United States Army," said Mueller. "I contacted him to see if he could help James get his uniform."

Hickman, who was part of the 160th out of Fort Campbell, was more than willing to help. With almost 23 years serving in the United States Army Hickman said he knew the feeling Mr. Stovall had and he wanted to do what he could to help him.

"Soldiers have a tendency to look out for each other," said Hickman. "When Paula called and told me all Mr. Stovall wanted was a BDU top, my wife, April and I decided we would get him one."

Hickman added that most soldiers don't serve their country for the money, they do it out of fulfilling a duty to their country.

"I fully understand his feelings. It is an honor to talk to soldiers from that generation, there are not too many left. It was special for me," said Hickman who brought the uniform to Mr. Stovall personally. "It made us happy knowing that it made him happy."