Today is “Thank a Veteran Day” in Big Spring and in honor of that KBest Media would like to recognize and thank Charles Kelse Cloud, a 3-year U.S. Army Veteran, who served in the 82nd Airborne Division, an elite division specializing in air assault, from March 1952 to March 1955.
A native of West Texas, Cloud graduated from high school at 17 years old and attended business school. When he was 18, he realized that the draft was on-going at that time and he decided to go ahead and enlist. He noted that before he enlisted, he had an older sister who served in the military during World War II.
During basic training, Cloud was injured and sent home on leave. After he had healed, he said he had to go through basic training again, but said that this time, the pressure to go to Korea was off.
During the 3 years of service with the 82nd Airborne Division, Cloud served as a Staff Sergeant and made 21 parachute jumps in career. He told KBest News that he had minimal injuries, but others didn’t have the same experience. Cloud told KBest News that he once saw 17 people killed at one time while in the air.
After discharging from the military, Cloud worked for Fort Hood then attended the University of Texas. He later returned to Odessa with his family to work in the claims department for an oil field company. He later retired after 18 years with the company as a Claims Director.
When asked what advice he would pass on, Cloud stated, "I think we have some wars that we shouldn't have and shouldn't have to go, but a soldier does his job. He always does that, and I expect him to go if he's called."