The Veteran of the Month for August 2019 is Paul “Tag” Stanford Utley.
Born July 13, 1921 in Smith Mills, Kentucky to parents Paul Brooks and Louise Whitman Utley.
He attended school there till the eightieth grade, when he left to work on his Uncle”s farm known as the “River Bottom Farm”, located on the banks of the Ohio River.
Soon he would join the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps and left his home in Kentucky for Sitkum, Oregon, where he worked for two years building fire trails, and bridges.
On October 3, 1939 at the age of eighteen years, Utley enlisted into the United States Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
After basic and advanced training was assigned to the 21st Field Artillery Battalion, Battery B, Fifth Infantry Division, known as the Red Diamonds.
Training with the 155 mm Field Howitzer, Utley was proud that he earned expert gunner, and became a gun Captain.
He served through out World War II taking part in the occupation of Iceland, Normandy Landings, and Campaigns of Northern France and the Rhineland.
On September 12, 1944 during a campaign in France, He was seriously wounded in action.
Returning back to the United States, on 6 July, 1945 at the Separation Center Camp Atterbury Indiana, Utley received an Honorable Discharge from Military Service having attained the rank of Corporal, and awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with Three Bronze Stars, the American Defense Service Medal, and the Purple Heart Medal.
Returning home to Kentucky, Utley decided to look for work in Detroit, Michigan.
He worked for the City of Detroit, driving Street Cars.
There he met the love of his life, and on October 8, 1948, married Josephine Rose Skop of Boyne Falls Michigan.
Utley retired after 32 years with the City of Detroit and he and Josephine moved their family to Boyne Falls Michigan.
He began a second career as head of maintenance for the Holiday Inn of Petoskey, Michigan retiring in 1983.
Utley was a member of Boyne City American Legion Post 228, and the Military Order of Purple Heart Veterans.
He loved to play checkers, travel the United States, and was a big NASCAR fan.
He was a loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather. On January 26, 2000, at Lady Lake, Florida, Paul “Tag” Stanford Utley, answered the final call and is being honored by his son Chuck Utley and family.
To honor a veteran, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067 or on Tuesdays call (231) 582-7811 between 3:30-8:30 p.m. The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, Mich. at 6:15 p.m.