His name is Frank R. Barrett. He was the eldest of five children. He was the only boy and because his father was not around, he was the head of his family and breadwinner. Whether working or earning money playing pool, he took it all home to support the family and gave it to his mother. He graduated from Cool Springs High School in May 1950 and joined the U. S. Marines in June of that year. He was a very special man to anyone who had the privilege of meeting him or knowing him. He felt called to duty during the Korean War and, by request, he was sent into the “throws of hell”! He became a Staff Sergeant. Frank Barret was definitely a natural team player and leader.
Then it happened! Frank headed a group of about 10 or 12 other Marines that were sent out on patrol. They never returned and were never heard from again. He was listed as missing in action on December 28,1953. Finally, a classmate and friend, Keith Price achieved what needed to be done. He got the acknowledgment he needed to honor his schoolmate and a friend he always admired. Frank Barrett’s status was officially changed from missing in action to killed in action on December 28,1953. Now, he could receive all the honor due to him as a Rutherford County hero and proud U. S. Marine. The corrected copy of his report is now on file at the Pentagon.
Members and friends of Frank Barrett’s family gathered together at the VFW headquarters in Spindale this past Saturday. Larry Greene, VFW Commander began the ceremony and introduced a very emotional Keith Price who was unable to continue speaking about Frank Barrett. His namesake, a nephew, Frank Grant, who never knew his uncle, spoke of the family and how proud they were of their hero. He thanked everyone for taking the time to honor his uncle. Then a 21 gun salute was fired outside and an American flag folded and presented to the family. Also, the Marine Corps League of Rutherford County presented a Marine flag.
Fifty-seven years later, a Rutherford County hero is acknowledged and given his special place of honor.