NewsVoice for Veterans


U.S Veterans honored in Owings Mills for Independence Day

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jul 02, 2024

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — 22 U.S veterans who spent years serving and sacrificing for this country were honored with a pinning ceremony and the unveiling of a new honor wall at Atrium living facility in Owings Mills.

"Especially when you get to be 90-years-old, somebody says 'we're gonna honor you today,' that's a proud thing because time is running out and you realize time is running out and you start thinking about how dull life is getting as you get older," said Leroy Thornton, Purple Hearts recipient who served in the Korean War.

He spoke about his path to becoming a respected veteran after being drafted at just 17.

"When I got drafted, it was time to go. I just went out and I didn't squawk about anything or try to change my age back to what it was. It turned out to be a good thing," said Thornton.

"When I came out of the service, I joined the Maryland National Guard. I became First Sergeant in the Maryland National Guard. I stayed in there for years, and after joining the Maryland National Guard, I joined the Korean War Veterans Association, and I became the commander," said Thornton.

Along for the ride is Thornton's new friend who just moved into Atrium Living Facility. 92-year-old Teddy Cornish who also served during the Korean War. He was with the Air Force for 21 years.

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to get on an airplane... most of the flights were 8 1/2 hours. Nobody wanna be home. Everybody wanted to stay in the airplane. We were practicing war games while we were flying," said Cornish.

The two formed a special bond the minute Cornish moved in. Now, they're inseparable.

"Same thing you do in the Army or same thing you do in the military once you latch onto a friend, you do almost everything together," said Thornton.

The pinning ceremony and unveiling of the honor walls means so much to them. Two men who fought to serve and protect this country.

Both men were all smiles happy to celebrate independence day and how far the country has come since their early years of service.