My FIL passed away New Years day, another of the Greatest Generation,
that did not know the meaning of "quit" or "couldn't".
The article below says he was a light machine gunner, but he was
much more, he fought in the Japanese island also as an advance scout and
After the war he worked as a millwright in Tennessee Coal and Iron
rolling mills in Birmingham, survived cancer in his fifties, survived a
heart attack in his sixties and again at 85. After surviving cancer
he turned to farming and coon hunting for entertainment.
Very tough and independent up until my wife passed in 2011, her passing
took a lot out of him and he declined rapidly over the last two years.
He lived a full, well lived life.
The article below appeared originally in the Shelby County Reporter.
WWII vet sees dreams fulfilled
Published 5:38pm Monday, May 7, 2012
By CHRISTINE BOATRWIGHT / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO – As William A. Posey walked into Parnell Memorial Library,
U.S. military veterans, family and community members alike stood in
honor of the World War II veteran.
On May 7, Posey had a dream fulfilled.
Posey, who was born in Back Creek and now lives in Montevallo, had
written a book in 1979 about his WWII experiences, but never had the
book published. His book, titled “Dress Blues,” concludes with, “I am
proud to be able to say, ‘I was a Marine,’ though I never did get those
blasted dress blues!”
When he told his Southern Care Hospice nurse, Ollie Munford, about his
book and his desire to see it published, she took the manuscript to Mara
Tierce, community relations director of Southern Care in Clanton.
“Ollie came in and said, ‘Mara, we need to get this published,’” Tierce
Following the discussion, Tierce met Dixon Brooke Jr., president and CEO
of EBSCO Industries, at a South Shelby Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
When she mentioned the book, Brooke told Tierce to contact his
assistant. In the end, EBSCO published Posey’s book for family members,
then printed a second time as word spread.
Tierce then got in touch with Robert Horton, public information officer
for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She invited Horton to a book
signing she set up for Posey in Montevallo, but their conversation led
to something more.
“Mr. Posey’s book is called ‘Dress Blues,’ but he never got them,”
Tierce said. “I asked Mr. Horton, ‘How hard would be to get this man his
“It was a God thing,” she added. “The only person who can order dress
blues is a former Marine, and Bob Horton is a former Marine.”
Rep. Kurt Wallace thanks William Posey for his service before
having his copy of "Dress Blues" signed by the author. (Reporter
Tierce also called State Representative Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville, to
see how he could help. Wallace was one of the people who contributed to
the purchase of Posey’s dress blues, which were presented to 93-year-old
Posey at his book signing.
“Mara Tierce contacted me, and as I’m a military guy, I said tell me how
I can help,” Wallace said. “To get dress blues is to say you’ve reached
a pinnacle. You earn them.”
Social Worker Pam Boykin worked with Posey through Southern Care.
“He’s a cut-up,” she said, smiling. “I thought he was just a good, old,
country boy, and then I found out he’d been an avid writer.”
After Posey walked through the group of veterans in red from the Marine
Corps League at the library, he was seated at the front of the room next
to his brother, Richard Posey, who is also a WWII veteran.
“Oh my,” said Posey of the event and of the more than 50 attendees.
Posey volunteered for the Marine Corp in 1944 at the age of 25. After 10
months of service overseas as a light machine gunner, he was honorably
As he wrote in his book, “Dress Blues,” Posey joined the Marines because
“I wanted the best training I could get to better my chances of survival
over there. In my opinion, the Corps proved that training.”
At his book signing, Posey smiled and put a hand to his mouth as Horton
unwrapped two packages in front of him. The packages contained the hat
and uniform to his dress blues.
“I’ll try them on when I get home,” Posey said, smiling. “Thank you.
You’ll have to read my ‘Dress Blues.’ Every word is true … more or less.”