Sergeant Major Arthur O. Petty
By Colonel Jim Stone
Sergeant Major Petty, lives on his farm located on Hollis Creek Road, 165 Lazy Acres Farm. Art is a quiet, well mannered, non-assuming gentleman. Not until you get to know Art, do you realize that he is a "True American Hero".
Petty entered the United States Marine Corps in 1941. He served during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. His experiences are numerous. I have read three books about his experiences in each of these three wars. God was truly with Art during his military career. It is very evident that only through God's Divine Intervention that Art survived. My analysis is simple, the reason Art survived the many battles he fought in, while many of his fellow marines were killed in action, is because God had something else planned for him.
I believe that plan was for Art and his family to move to Cannon County where he has designed and organized an outstanding and very detailed museum that tells his story of his many adventures. He has become a mainstay with the Veterans and Concerned Citizens for the Veterans of Cannon County. He is also a key member of the newly chartered Hilton Stone American Legion Post 279.
His assignments included service in infantry companies in five different Divisions, through three wars. From 1944-45, he was a squad leader in K Co. 3/2, including service during the invasion of Saipan. He was in one of three ships hit by Kamikaze Pilots in a four ship convoy during WWII. With D Co.1/8, he flew into Cuba the night of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and served as part of President Kennedy's security detail during his Central American Tour. He has met U.S Presidents, Chiefs of Staff, a past President of the United Nations, governors, traveled in Air Force One, and had dinner with the former President of the Philippines.
Petty is a N.R.A. Master in pistol and rifle. He shot for the Marine Corps Base Pendleton with both pistol and rifle. He placed fourth in the Olympic tryouts in Puerto Rico in 1960.
It is a great honor to have Art Petty and his family as part of the Veterans of Cannon County. This is one American Hero who knows the costs of Freedom. When you see Art, be sure and shake his hand and say thanks for his service to this great country.
You will be glad you did, because there is something special that flows through that handshake, that will make you Proud to be an American.