Grandson Shares Missouri Family's Incredible Military History for Veterans Day
Wed, 11/11/2020 - 11:18am admin
Michael L. Plum, contributing writer
According to David Light of Mountain View, we need to take a walk through time to remember his family's incredible military history. David is the son of Charles Light and Marjorie (Hodge) Light. He is the grandson of Edward and Anna Light, and Aaron and Josie Hodge. The Light and Hodge families originate from the Rolla area, but over time have spread out.
"I was raised on a small farm just outside Rolla, MO. Farm life was rewarding with three brothers and four sisters which made me appreciate life," recalls David.
Before we go further we need to go back to his grandparents. Edward and Anna Light were the parents of eight, six sons and two daughters. Each of the sons, Ralph, Wayne, Thomas, Elmer, Charles, and Raymond honorably served in the United States military. Neither of the daughters Cordelia or Dorthy served in the military; however, Dorthy married Bill Neely and he honorably served.
Aaron and Josie Hodge had fourteen of their own children, eleven sons and three daughters. All of their sons served in the military, each branch being represented. The sons from eldest to youngest are Aaron, Chester, Russell, Arthur, Elmer, Herman, Clarence, Riley, Lew, Loyde, and Paul. The daughters Iva, Marjorie, and Jeanette's husbands all honorably served. David Light has, including his father, Charles, and his grandfather, Aaron Hodge, Sr. plus nineteen uncles that served in the US military- a very remarkable family history.
The Hodge family holds the oldest national record for the most number of sons in the United States military: eleven. During WWII, the eldest son, Aaron, served in Africa and Italy and in March of 1944, his air transport was hit by the Mount Vesuvius eruption. Chester was on Saipan, Iwo Jima, and the Marshall Islands and used a shotgun in close combat. Russell was in France and England and saw some of the London blitz. He also helped decode Nazi messages. Arthur was at the battle of the Bulge and in Germany's Ruhr Valley. During his service, his feet froze and were nearly lost. Elmer was in the occupation army in Japan after the war ended and Clarence served in Germany. Herman is the only brother to serve in the Korean War. He was at a gun post for seven days and seven nights without aid or sleep. Twins Lew and Riley and younger brother Loyde, all served in the Navy.
The youngest Hodge, Paul, was ordered to Vietnam, when Rep. Richard Ichord intervened at the request of Grandma Josie Hodge. Having seven sons serve in combat and three away in the Navy, Gma Hodge contacted Rep Ichord and shared her story. After Ichord verified her story, he had Paul brought back to the states. Fortunately, none of the Hodge sons were disabled during their tours but some were affected by service-connected injuries. Chester was awarded two purple hearts and a presidential citation. The Hodge ancestry in Missouri goes back to the Civil war. Aaron Hodge Sr's great great grandfather, Ebenezer Daniels, was part of the Missouri Militia.