* Fred Vannoy, a former U.S. Army private first class, was recently honored by the New River Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) for his WWII military service.
* An infantryman, tank and jeep driver with the 401st Infantry and 1st Armor Division, Vannoy spent his time in the European Theater. He recalled one night in particular spent in a sleeping bag in Germany and it was the coldest he’d ever been.
* Born just a few miles from his current home on the Watauga County side of the New River, Vannoy grew up in both Watauga and Ashe Counties. After his Army service, Fred married Nancy Hicks Vannoy of Cove Creek. Together they reared 4 children.
* Although Fred’s primary career after the Army was farming, he also worked in the construction business, did a lot of sawmilling and raised cattle. He became one of the first area farmers to get into the chicken-raising business and for 30 years contracted with Holly Farms until they were bought out by Tyson Chicken.
* During the ceremony, Vannoy received a certificate, a set of personalized “dog tags” and a service-specific lapel pin. His family also made a special presentation recognizing his service in the famed 1st Armor Division with a beautiful plaque.
* Fred Vannoy (pictured center second row) is flanked by USAF Major (Ret.) Lou Burge (left) and USN Captain (Ret.) Doug Ehrhardt (right). First row (left to right), Vannoy’s wife Nancy Vannoy, daughter Debbie Williams and daughter Sandra Vannoy. Ehrhardt is president of the New River Chapter, MOAA and Burge serves as the chapter’s veterans outreach officer.