Vincent “Buddy” Lankford, left, gets help from Will Mason and Laurie Ross in cutting the cake with a sword during a reception to honor veterans on Monday in Southampton Memorial Hospital. Lankford and Edward Young, far right, are veterans of World War II. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS
Vincent “Buddy” Lankford, left, gets help from Will Mason and Laurie Ross in cutting the cake with a sword during a reception to honor veterans on Monday in Southampton Memorial Hospital. Lankford and Edward Young, far right, are veterans of World War II. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

Archived Story

WWII veteran honored with other servicemen, women

Published 9:53am Friday, November 15, 2013

FRANKLIN—Vincent “Buddy” Lankford remembers his time in World War II.

“I was drafted out of [Franklin] high school,” he said. “I was 19 and working as an assistant manager at A&P. I had worked there after school.”

Serving in the European Theatre of the war, Lankford, now 92, said he saw action in the Lorraine region of France and the Rhineland of Germany.

“I was in the Infantry Division and served in Company C, 242nd Regiment,” he said. “We had a lot of close calls, but I had no injuries.”

Pointing to his knees, though, he added, “I messed them up with all that crawling.”

With a smile Lankford remembers that there weren’t enough ships to bring everyone home after the war. This gave him the opportunity to travel to Austria, Italy and Belgium, for example.

Once back in the United States, he was discharged at Ft. Mead, Md., before returning home to Franklin.

“I went back to work for a short time at the A&P, and then went to sell life insurance for 37 years at American General,” Lankford said.

He also married his high school sweetheart, Jane Stephenson; they have a daughter, Kay, who lives in Fredericksburg.

Although Lankford became involved with a local VFW post, his time in the military was sufficient for him.

With a bigger smile, he said, “Enough service.”

A resident at East Pavilion since his wife died seven or eight years ago, Lankford said he pays attention to the news.

“I keep up with all the politics,” he continued. “I like to know what’s going on.”

Lankford and Edward Young, who’s in the Skilled Care section of Southampton Memorial Hospital, were servicemen of WW II recognized during a reception Monday afternoon in Southampton Memorial Hospital. They were joined by several of the 23 other veterans who work at the medical center.

Among those was Laurie Ross, chief nursing officer and a 26-year Navy veteran. She organized the program, which had its start in 2010 “and has been growing since.”

Among the other servicemen and women who attended were:

• Will Mason, a specialist in the Army reserves, is a cardiopulmonary and respiratory therapist that comes in once a week from Maryview Hospital.

• Ellen Robinson, an Army veteran of 20 years, is in administration at Southampton Family Practice.

• Kevin Stephens, with 12 years in the Air Force, is a CAT scan technologist.

• Jerry Parker, with four years in the Marines during Vietnam, is the biomedical director at the hospital.

• Stephanie Lockhart, with 12 years in the Navy, is the program director of the LPN’s.

John Sykes, with seven years in the Norfolk reserve Marine Corps, serves as a security officer.

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