Live Oak —
Americans have marked a day in November as a time set aside to recognize the soldiers who have fought for this country. Some will celebrate the day by attending special ceremonies, visiting the cemeteries of fallen soldiers or just enjoying the day with the family. The Democrat had a chance to sit down with a veteran, just to hear his story.
David Lane was born on Dec. 9, 1946 in the hills of West Virginia. Born and raised in Charleston, he was the middle child of three siblings born to Angus and Anna Lane.
Growing up, David attended schools in Charleston and eventually graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in 1964.
His first year out of high school, David enrolled at Shenandoah Bible College in Roanoke, Va. “I think I called myself into the ministry instead of God calling me,” he said. After a year in college, David returned home and entered the workforce.
David landed a job with AT&T and had just married the love of his life, Erie, when he received a letter from Uncle Sam stating he was being drafted into the United States Army. “Ten days after being married I had to leave for basic training,” he laughed.
For basic training, David was sent to Ft. Knox, Ky., and later stationed in Italy. Although he never fought on the battlegrounds of Vietnam or considers himself to be a war veteran, he is, however, a veteran of war.
“I was drafted during the time of the Vietnam war, but I never had to go there for the war,” he stated. David took the option of enlisting for three years and spent the entire time in Italy. Fortunately, his wife was able to relocate with him.
While stationed overseas, David and Erie welcomed their first child, Natalie, in June of 1970. He worked with the Signal Corp., and earned his way up and obtained the rank of sergeant. After his three years of service ended in February of 1971, David moved the family back home to West Virginia.
David went back to work for AT&T and spent a year-and-a-half in the mountaineer state before transferring to Southern Bell (a division of AT&T) and moving to the sunshine state.
“When we were in Italy, we were stationed along the beach and I loved it. So when we came back here, we wanted to live near the beach. I love the weather here because I don’t like to be cold,” he said laughing. Erie had family in South Florida and the couple fell in love with the area when they would visit, so they decided to call Melbourne their home. A few years later, David and Erie gave birth to their second child, Eric, in 1977.
“One of Erie’s sisters was moving up here to Suwannee County and we came up to help her get settled in. We liked the area up here, so after I retired in September of 1997, we bought some property and moved up here,” said David.
Since making their home in Suwannee County, the couple started attending a small Methodist church, in which both of them actively serve in. David has both served God and his country with his life.