Growing up in the late ’60s was no easy life for this veteran.
Ronny Banks’s father died at age 48, and it was up to Banks and his brother, Gerald, to help support their mother and their youngest brother .
Banks worked at Pugh Lumber and Supply while attending DeRidder High School.
After graduation Banks attended Northwestern State University until his student draft deferment ran out.
Banks was inducted into the US Army and sent to Fort Polk for, both, Basic and AIT.
Lucky for him, back when he was high school, Banks had taken auto mechanics under Dewey Smith. When he took the placement test for the Army, his education paid off. He was assigned to maintenance and transportation unit of the 1st Armored Division in Crailsheim, Germany.
Crailsheim is located midway between Nüremberg and Stuttgart ,a junction point for all transportation and railway traffic crisscrossing central Germany. At an elevation of 1400 feet, even the summers were cool to a boy from DeRidder.
Vietnam had been the hot spot, now world politics had changed, and the Cold War was the new worry for President Nixon. The President order a pull down of troops in Southeast Asia and an increase of strength in Germany.
With the build of forces in Germany also came much more maintain on equipment. With his mechanical skills, Banks worked on everything from cuckoo clocks to missiles with atomic warheads.
Often, when a breakdown occurred, Banks and his squad would be sent out in below minus 0 degree weather to make repairs on the equipment .
When Banks received his discharge from the Army, he once again returned to DeRidder and became an employee at Boise in the maintenance department. Once again, Banks used his skills to repair everything from mechanical instruments to the crack of dawn.
Even though Banks and his wife Betty are now retired, they stay busy helping family and friend with day to day events.
Beside his wife and family, Ron is most proud of his 396 Chevrolet Super Sport, which has been featured in car shows all around the country.
Banks is also a member of American Legion Post 27.
If you see Banks, or any veteran, he would surely appreciate a handshake and acknowledgement of the sacrifice and the commitment veterans have made in the lofty endeavor of securing American liberty.
They are solely responsible for having protected our fortunate state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior or political views. And that is priceless act of service.