One of the most beautiful and well known passages in …
Although a west virginian by birth, born in Holden, December 4th, 1927, At 13 years old, his Dad, who worked as an electrician in the West Virginia coal mines lost his job during the depression and moved his family to East Tennessee where they found a small town called Maryville. lvan attended Maryville High School where after graduation at age 18, he joined the Navy. His whole family history served in the military. His Father, who had been trained as an electrician while in the Navy served during peace time during the 1930s between WWI and WWll. lvan’s Grandfather, fought in the spanish American war and his Great Grandfather served for the Southern Confederacy as an officer with the 50th lnfantry in the Army of Virginia. With a family history like this, lvan knew there was only one path for his life and that would be to serve with the United States Military. As an enlisted man, lvan was assigned to serve aboard the USS Rodman and later reassigned to the USS Hamblen. Upon his release from the Navy after serving 2 years at the end of WWll, lvan entered Maryville College. After a short stay he transferred to the University of Tennessee where he met and married
Alice Robinson Kirk and graduated from the Tennessee Business College where he studied journalism. This became invaluable later on. He entered the United States Army as a commissioned officer, 2nd LT. ln 1951 after which he was sent to Fort Benning, GA, Officer Training School and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division (later split to be commissioned as the L01’t Airborne Division) where he attended jump school. He completed his first 30 jumps to earn his “wings”, but the adrenalin burst kept him jumping out of a perfectly good airplane for over 300 times.
lvan’s training continued as he was assigned to the Korea Officer Training School for Psychological Warfare at Fort Riley Kansas, after which he was sent Soule Korea assigned to I Corp as Platoon Leader for the 8th Army Headquarters where he the olc (officer in charge) leading a team operating loud speakers broadcasting American propaganda into North Korea at the 38th Parallel. ln 1953, lvan was returned to the US as the executive recon officer for the 90 mm recon officer for the 325th lnfantry Regiment which was part of the 82nd Airborne. His next assignment was that he was to be transferred to the 10th Special Forces A
Team Leader at Fort Brag then to go to Germany. His Special Forces training was extremely intense including scuba, mountain climbing and snow survival combat training. After 3 years he was again reassigned to the 101’t Airborne at Fort Campbell, KY, where he received his Captains bars and was assigned to S-2 lntelligence Battle Group and became the Public lnformation Officer. He was again sent to Germany to serve as Team Leader with the 10th Special Forces S-2 section under Major Ralph Puckett but only a short time later was returned to Fort Brag and reassigned to be Team Leader for the 6th Special Forces Group. His career was now headed into a different direction as he was sent to Viet Nam to serve in the First Brigade of the 101’t Airborne. lvan left the military after his tour in Viet Nam for a short time to study at the University of Omaha to obtain his degree in journalism. After obtaining his degree, the military once again took hold and he was assigned to be the lnformation Officer at Fort Sheridan, lll. He was later promoted to Major and transferred back to Fort Brag with the 82″d Airborne as the Executive lnformation Officer where he remained until his retirement in 1969. His many exploits and positions held has provided him with many honors. He holds ribbons from each of the countries in which he served as well as the “combat infantrY badge”.
lvan’s service to his country did not change as since his retirement from the military, he continues to remain active with the Kiwanis Club of Sweetwater, Masons, Odd Fellows and the Sweetwater Arts Council. lvan also continues to actively do fund raising for the Boy Scouts of America national council. He is independently active with the Ketchum agency a public association headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. lvan is also very active with the First Perspiration Church in Sweetwater. He resides in his home in Sweetwater and maintains an office in the Main St. antique district in downtown Sweetwater. lvan was the author of “The Always First Briga de” , a multipage tabloid keeping the veterans of Sweetwater apprised of the events and happenings of the 101’t Airborne. lvan has 3 children. One of his grandchildren is currently a colonel in the United States Army.