Retired (four-star) general Ronald H. Griffith, born in LaFayette, will be speak at a Veteran’s Day recognition on Nov. 10 at the Armuchee Valley Community Center in Villanow.
The distinguished officer from northwest Georgia served in the U.S. Army from 1960-97.
Griffith initially had no intention of a career in the military, fulfilling a tour of duty following the ROTC program and graduating from the University of Georgia.
A few good military assignments were followed with his first (of three) trips into battle, serving in Korea.
“Korean war guys kind of got lost in history,” Griffith recalls. “There were many important sacrifices during a very tough war.”
Griffith speech for Veteran’s Day will partially focus on the oft-forgotten Korean War.
While Griffith grew up in LaFayette, he now lives in Arlington, Va., a mere five minutes from the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
He spends Veteran’s Day reflecting on the soldiers he has known through the years and especially those who were lost in battle under his command.
As a captain he was an advisor in Delta region for the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, from 1969-70.
“We lost a lot of people there,” Griffith said, including a few close friends.
As a brigadier general serving in Germany, Griffith witnessed history as the Berlin wall fell in 1989.
His third foray into battle happened during Operation Desert Shield/Storm commanding the First Armored Division by request of Cent-Com commander, general “Stormin” Norman Schwarzkopf.
The Purple Heart medal is one of several awards and citations he has received, in addition to six bronze stars and three legions of merit.
From 1995-97 he served in his highest role as vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.