Salute to a Veteran
11/01/2006 10:29AM ● Published by Brandi Barnett
November 11 is Veterans’ Day – a holiday observed each year to honor all those, living and dead, who served with the U.S. armed forces. Originally called Armistice Day, it commemorated the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. The war officially ended at 11 am, the 11th hour of the
11th day of the 11th month.
In honor of this day, Enjoy magazine would like to thank all of the heroes who have helped keep our
nation free. North State resident, Joseph Asworth, is one such veteran.
Joseph Allie Ashworth Jr. was born January 28, 1947 in Nashville, Tennessee. His family moved to
California in 1950 and he has lived in Northern California for the past 29 years.
Ashworth joined the Navy at the age of 19. His first duty station was the USS Apache, a sea-going tugboat. He served two tours in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969, helping patrol the waterways of the Mekong River. His most memorable moment was in February 1968, at Tansanuk Airport in Saigon. “We were waiting to fly home to the good old U.S. of A. The Vietcong hit the terminal at around 6 a.m. with a rocket that put a hole in the terminal as big as my house. There were many military and civilian personnel waiting to catch the plane and there were a number of casualties,” Ashworth said.
When Ashworth finally arrived home, he was transferred to the USS Chara and sent back to Vietnam. Aer six months of duty, he was injured by a pallet of ammunition falling against his leg, almost severing it. He was sent home in a body cast, and spent the next several months at
Oakland Naval Hospital. He was discharged in April 1970.
“I know that the VietnamWar was an unpopular war, but whatever reason I was sent to Vietnam for, I went and fought for the right reason,” Ashworth said. “I love my country and my family very much, and want my freedom to continue not only for myself, but for my family and friends.” Ashworth has served as the president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 357 and Chairman of the Veterans Clinic Advisory Council.
Ashworth’s advice to the men and women serving our country today is simple: “Do not allow anyone to make you feel less of yourself. Even though the war that you are fighting is becoming more and more unpopular, just remember that you are a volunteer and that serving your country is an honor.”