On Nov. 11 we celebrate Veterans Day and honor all of the military men and women who’ve made sacrifices for our freedom. Our own Raymond Newby is one such veteran, and he has quite the story to tell about his time in the service.
Raymond Newby was born on March 8, 1923, east of Parsons on Montana Road in a house across the street from Service Valley School. He was raised by his parents, Earl and Irma, in the Labette/ Montgomery County area. He had one sister named Thelma, and they had a close relationship playing together on their farm. Raymond helped out quite a bit, doing chores while his dad milked cows.
Raymond was drafted into the Army. He served from 1944 to 1946 in the 345th Infantry, Ammunition and Pioneer (A&P) 87th Division, of the 3rd Army in Europe during World War II. Raymond served as a private. His team would help supply the line troops with ammunition during the right time.
His most memorable moment was crossing the Siegfried Line in Germany. “This was a ditch approximately 30 feet deep that Hitler had built to protect Germany.” He also recalls his trip overseas. He traveled on the Queen Mary and slept three decks below water level with 28 other men. “The bunks were seven bunks high along each wall.”
Raymond served his country and was happy to return to American soil. “Life was wonderful after returning from the military because I appreciated more things.”
Raymond married Alberta Harris after the war, on Dec. 1, 1946; they have been married more than 70 years. They had four children, three boys and one girl. Raymond went on to work as an electrician at Parsons State Hospital. “The highlight of my life is being with my wife.”
He’s pleased to live at Parsons Presbyterian Manor and said his favorite thing is “all of it. The people here are so wonderful.”