Art joined the U.S Army on Feb. 13 of 1979 at the age of 20, in Paris, Tenn. He enlisted as a Cavalry Scout (19D) and attended Basic Training and Scout Training (AIT) at Ft. Knox, KY, just 40 miles from where he was born and raised.
Upon completion of that training he was assigned to the Scout Platoon of the 2/48th Infantry in Gelnhausen, Germany from 1979-1981. He participated in a 2 week RANGER Confidence Course with the Scout Platoon as a Private E1.
Art attended advanced reconnaissance training in lower Germany and became a LRRP (LURP) as a Specialist 4th Class.
Art returned to the States in 1981 and was stationed at Ft. Knox again with Bravo Troop 5th Cavalry Regiment and trained new soldiers in the art of being a Scout and obtained the rank of ergeant while there.
He moved to Las Vegas in 1983 and took over as NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge) of the 340th Engineer Detachment for about a year.
Art left the service for a number of years and returned to it in 1998 and was then at age 39 trained to be a Heavy Duty Truck Driver (88M HET) for the 257th Trans. Company. While with the 257th, he was deployed twice (ages 44 and 50) to Kuwait/Iraq to support Iraqi Freedom (03-04, 08-09) and he obtained his highest rank of Sergeant First Class in 2008 and retired as that.
Following his second tour to Iraq and Kuwait, he was put in the Warrior Transition Unit (Wounded Warrior Program) for the next nine months to deal with injuries and issues associated with his deployments.
Art was stationed with Bravo Company of that Unit. While there he struggled with a right shoulder injury, a right knee that had contracted a form of gout in it and the stresses of PTSD.
He received over 200 letters there and he is very thankful for those people and their love.
Art was transferred twice within the battalion, once to the 314th for two years and then finally to the 645th Inland Cargo Handling Company where he reclassified to 88H Cargo Handling Specialist.
Art served as a platoon sergeant for three years and acting first sergeant for one year, and retired as an advisor for training on Feb. 18, 2016 – 37 years and five days from entry.
His highest awards are the Army Meritorious Service Medal, two Army Commendation Medals and one Army Achievement Medal.
Art was joined by Sergeant Major Gene Overstreet (12th Sergeant Major for the Marine Corps) for his song “Army of One” at the NCOA convention in Las Vegas.
The song took just over a year to complete.
Art taught himself how to play the harmonica during his second tour to Iraq and feels like that is one of his greatest achievements.