National Guard Armory

Carrollton's armory dedicates new sign

The D-day event attracted
dozens of local veterans

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CARROLLTON, Ky. (July 2004) – June 6, 1944 is a day etched in the minds of many former servicemen and women, their families, friends and relatives. Remembered as D-Day, this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. To honor survivors and those who lost their lives, a memorial ceremony was held June 6 in front of Carrollton’s National Guard Armory.

Photo by Don Ward

Sgt. First Class Rick mcDonald poses
in front of the new sign at
Carrollton's National Guard Armory.

Veterans and dignitaries took part in a dedication of a new sign in front of the Armory. Also, Guardsmen gathered to present the veterans with red poppy plants. This flower is symbolic of the Normandy Beaches and “connects the veterans of World War II’s turning point to our protectors of today,” said Robin Caldwell, executive director of Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism & Convention Commission.
“No soldier can ever downplay his or her importance in the scope of the military and the part they play. Everyone who signs his or her name to serve-also agrees to place their lives on the line to protect our country,” said Caldwell. Her father, the late Sgt. Major Robert John “Goose” Caldwell, was inducted into the U.S. Army during World War II. The National Guard Armory in Carrollton was renamed for Sgt. Major Caldwell on Dec. 14, 2002.

Sgt. Major Robert Caldwell

Sgt. Major Robert John "Goose" Caldwell.

The National Guard unit has been stationed in Carrollton since the 1940s, and has played an active role in the community since its conception. The Armory is home to battery A, 2nd Battalion, 139th Field Artillery, which predates the Mexican War.
Kaiser-Taulbee Associates of Lexington, Ky., built the Carrollton National Guard Armory in 1959. It is located on a 10-acre lot next to the entrance to Gen. Butler State Resort Park. This lot was donated by the Carroll County School Board, which received ownership of it from a war veteran.
Caldwell helped to unveil the new Armory sign, which was surrounded by freshly planted flowers. The previous sign was destroyed by vandals. The new sign was made by veteran David Searcy, a native of Carroll County.
The sign is an exact replica of the former sign, with updates of where the Unit has served in recent years. It is similar to the original one that was in front of the Armory 15 years ago, said Sgt. First Class Rick McDonald, a Cincinnati native assigned to manage the Armory. Money has been donated from local companies to cover the expense of the new one.

• For more information contact the Tourism Dept. at 1-800-325-4290 or go to http://www.military.state.ky.us.

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