2017-11-09 / Front Page

Haynes early return surprises son, brings home Veterans Day meaning

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor


Sergeant First Class James Haynes was released a week early from his service in Kuwait, and surprised his son James Haynes Jr., a seventh-grade student at LCMS, while he was at school last Monday. The pair shared an emotional, but joyful embrace at Haynes’ return home. Sergeant First Class James Haynes was released a week early from his service in Kuwait, and surprised his son James Haynes Jr., a seventh-grade student at LCMS, while he was at school last Monday. The pair shared an emotional, but joyful embrace at Haynes’ return home. For nearly 100 years American’s have regarded November 11 as a day to both honor and esteem all those who have served and fought for the United States. While the celebra­tion wasn’t officially recognized as “Veterans Day” until 1954. The tribute was in place in the form of Armistice Day prior to that, and the purpose of recognizing veterans was still the intent.

Differing slightly from that of Memorial Day, which sets to honor those who lost their lives in service, Veterans Day simply wants to rec­ognize all veterans who served in all wars in America. What’s more is that Department of Veterans is actually broadening the day of observance to encompass not only veterans, but military families as well, for the entire month of No­vember in light of its 99th year of recognition.


The Haynes family, including (l-r) wife Joanne Haynes, staff sergeant for the New York Guard and Seal, Armando Gonzalas, daughter Sarah Haynes, son James Haynes Jr., daughter Shelby Haynes, Sergeant First Class James Haynes, mother Christine Clark, and granddaughter Kadence Gonzalas, shared a special moment surprising Haynes Junior at school with the early return of his father. The Haynes family, including (l-r) wife Joanne Haynes, staff sergeant for the New York Guard and Seal, Armando Gonzalas, daughter Sarah Haynes, son James Haynes Jr., daughter Shelby Haynes, Sergeant First Class James Haynes, mother Christine Clark, and granddaughter Kadence Gonzalas, shared a special moment surprising Haynes Junior at school with the early return of his father. Recently in Lincoln County, na­tive James Haynes, Sergeant First Class in the United State Army, was released one week early from his service in Kuwait. Awaiting his return was his wife Joanne Haynes, their four children shared between them, and one grandchild.

What made his return a special occasion this year, however, was that he surprised his 12-year-old son, James Jr. – a student at LCMS – in the school’s cafeteria just last Monday with his early return.


After surprising his son James Haynes Jr. at school, Sergeant First Class James Haynes also presented an American flag to LCMS prin­cipal Patty Arthur. After surprising his son James Haynes Jr. at school, Sergeant First Class James Haynes also presented an American flag to LCMS prin­cipal Patty Arthur. With tear-filled eyes, but joyful smiles, the pair embraced after a long stint apart, serving as a re­minder to all what sacrifices these men and women go through in order to serve their country.

For both Haynes and his wife Joanne, who is also a staff sergeant for the New York Guard and Seal, they will have given 20-25 years of their life each to serving America’s people by the time they retire and don the badge of “veteran” for themselves.

While the Hayneses still have a few more years to serve, the duo took time to reflect on what made them decide to join the military in the first place.

Haynes began his service at the age of 17, and explained that is was a decision that changed his life in a very positive way.

“It’s shaped me for the better. I was kind of a bad kid, so it’s made me a better person, a better father, and a much better husband,” he said. “With it you take on a lot of responsibility.”

On top of having a life-changing experience through his chosen pro­fession, serving in the communica­tions area, Haynes also explained, “I come from a long line of military people. I wanted to keep that going so I joined the army.”

For his wife Joanne, she too has had a positive impact on her life from serving, though she didn’t join until the age of 24, and her motiva­tion came just after 9/11.

“I joined in April after 9/11. I was actually living in New York at the time that everything happened,” she said. “I was a front desk manager at a hotel where several units were sent down to stay and help with the situation, and that’s what sealed it for me.

“I went from business suits to combat boots,” she added.

Currently, Haynes is stationed at Fort Gordon, and his wife is trying to relocate to the southeast herself.

Haynes is the son of Doug and Pauley Hanes and Christine and Mark Clark.

For those who are on active or inactive duty, alongside the veterans of many wars fought for the United States, a clear sentiment of respect and thankfulness resonates within the Lincolnton community, as has been the fashion for 99 years across the nation.

According the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on 11 No­vember – first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954 as Veterans Day.

“World War I – known at the time as ‘The Great War’ – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of ‘the war to end all wars.’”

It was thanks to President Wood­row Wilson, who one year later formally proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day, and according to those with the VA, he did so remark­ing, “To us in America, the reflec­tions of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and be­Historical cause of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations… .”

It was President Dwight D. Eisen­hower, however, who signed a leg­islation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day, and to extend the honor to all those military personnel who served in all of the American wars.

As of last year, the United States Census Bureau recorded that there are 18.8 million military veterans in America.

It was calculated that 5.6 mil­lion served during the Gulf War (representing service from August 1990 to the present); 930,000 who served in World War II; 1.8 million who served in the Korean War; and 4.3 million who served in peacetime only.

The number of living veterans in 2015 – who served during three wartime periods – includes 61,997 who served during the Vietnam era and both periods of the Gulf War, and 29,331 who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era.

The number of living veterans in 2015 who served during two wartime periods includes 1,085,142 who served during both periods of the Gulf War; that 288,341 served during the Gulf War and the Viet­nam era; and that 152,416 served during the Korean War and the Vietnam Era.

Those who served during World War II and the Korean War were counted at 65,704.

Many of those who served were fathers and brothers, maybe even mothers and sisters, cousins, friends, and even strangers. So for the com­plete strangers who still decided to fight for those that even they didn’t know, Veterans Day is for them – it’s for all of them.

Locally, Veterans Day will be observed at the American Legion Post 194 on Saturday, November 11, beginning at 11 a.m. for the annual ceremony. The public is invited to attend this commemorative, honor­ary event.

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