Hospice recognizes Navy veteran

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SouthernCare Hospice and the National Guard’s Casey Shiver honored a Navy veteran on Monday.

Bruce Gibbs receives care from the hospice agency and they honored him through their American Hero Program.

Gibbs said he spent time in naval aviation and was stationed in Norman, Okla., San Deigo and Jacksonville, Fla.

He also did a tour of duty in Lebanon from 1958-1959.

“They were about to start another war,” he said.

He said he spent three years in the Navy, not including his reserve time.

Gibbs applauded his time in the Navy and said he enjoyed meeting the people he met.

“They taught me a whole lot,” he said. “I enjoyed being on the ship and my co-workers made it easy. I spent as much time in the kitchen as anywhere.”

He said he went to military school in Norman.

He first got into the Navy through a high school program in Gainesville, Fla., he said.

He’s from Crystal River, Fla., originally, but made his way to north of Opp when he and his two brothers took care of their mom, years ago.

He said at the time, he was living in the mountains near the North Carolina-Tennessee border.

“I just never made it back there,” he said.

Gibbs said he encourages young people to join the military.

“I learned a lot,” he said. “It’s the best education you can get.”

Also said it’s important for young people to stay in school and for them to take advantage of any programs that will give them a head start for their futures.

Gibbs comes from a long line of veterans.

His brothers served in the Air Force.

“Just about everyone in my family was in the military,” he said.

Gibbs said the Navy has taken care of him, especially in the last few years when he’s battled health issues, including heart issues and liver cancer.

But none of that is stopping him from continuing to work.

He and his friend continue to plant vegetables and other plants at his nursery.

Anyone interested in becoming a veterans volunteer is asked to call Jodie Williams at 222-0404.