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More than 150 veterans call The Village at Gainesville home. United by the commitment to serve and defend, these individuals find community in weekly meetings and gatherings to share their stories. Residents, whether having served or with an interest in the history of these events, listen to the stories of strength in great anticipation. Here, we share a few of our veterans’ stories.

Ken Beasock enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950 and went on to serve for 15 years as a serviceman defending his country in Korea and Vietnam. Motivated by the “dedication and honor” instilled in him during his service, Beasock went on to serve another 27 years as an officer, earning him the coveted title of Mustang, an elite group of individuals who have advanced from enlisted service member to officer by the end of their career. Beasock now serves as the cofounder of the Gainesville Marine Corps League, an organization dedicated to providing support for veterans and the beautification of the Gainesville community.

Bill Gobus joined the United States Marine Corps in 1943 at the age of 16. Two years early for the legal age to serve, Gobus used a forged birth certificate to gain entrance. Gobus went on to fight in WWII and was wounded at the Battle of Okinawa. He returned to civilian life in 1946, a recipient of the Purple Heart, and went on to work in the insurance business for 35 years. His time of service taught him discipline and the importance of service to one’s country.

Roger Caldwell Davis entered the Army Specialized Training Program in June of 1943. He began his service in WWII as the messenger and driver for a Major of the Reserve Command stationed in Nice, France. He went on to join the fourteenth division and fought during the Battle of the Bulge. He then advanced to General Patton’s seventh army for the final push into Germany in 1945. Documented by his letters home, Davis is completing a book, which recounts his experiences and lessons learned.

These individuals are a small representation of the many veterans who have found community at The Village at Gainesville. Their stories represent not only the history of the United States but a generation of bravery, honor and dedication. Thank you for your service and for continuing to share your stories.