By Chuck Bailey
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Citizens of Choctaw County gathered in front of the Veterans Monument at the Choctaw County Courthouse Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. to honor and commemorate Mr. Clarence E. “Pete” Blake, Jr.
It was a beautiful sunshine filled morning on the lawn of the Choctaw County Courthouse. Mr. Blake, escorted by friends and family, came across the street from Joey Hood’s office. Representative Hood made the presentation.
Tony Hood, from Attala County, was in the audience. A veteran himself said, “Pete is still being a good soldier. When he heard the artillery gun here (in front of the veterans monument) needed new tires, Pete made sure it got some recently.”
Representative Joey Hood read and presented Mr. Blake with the following framed proclamation from the Mississippi State House of Representatives:
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 123
A RESOLUTION HONORING AND COMMENDING MR. CLARENCE E. “PETE” BLAKE, JR., FOR HIS SERVICE DURING WORLD WAR II AS A MEMBER OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY.
WHEREAS, a true American Patriot, Mr. Clarence E. “Pete” Blake, Jr., is a veteran of World War II, which was fought to make the world safe for democracy and which repositioned world power and influence, firmly establishing the United States as a dominant world power; and
WHEREAS, born on November 23, 1923, Mr. Blake, as a result of his hard work and integrity, attained the esteemed rank of Technical Sergeant in the United States Army “Air Corps” Signal Corps and later served in the American Occupation Force
in Japan before retiring from the Armed Forces and enjoying life back home in the states; and
WHEREAS, the honorable Mr. Blake faithfully served over a year in foreign combat zones, including Guadalcanal, Japan and Luzon, where he was nearly killed by a Japanese sniper before he finally returned home on February 14, 1946, upon the Sea Fiddler; and
WHEREAS, over the course of his army career, Mr. Blake received numerous awards and commendations, including the American Campaign Medal, Asia-Pacific Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal among others; and
WHEREAS, in 2013, Mr. Blake was flown to Washington, D.C., as part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Air Flight to view the national war memorials and was forever touched by the appreciation he was deservingly shown by the people of Washington, D.C. and Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to humbly honor a hero such as Mr. Clarence E. “Pete” Blake, Jr., whose inspirational life of tireless service to his fellowman and country is an exemplary model of a patriotic American to which all citizens of our great country may aspire:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend Mr. Clarence E. “Pete” Blake, Jr., for his honorable record of achievement as a veteran of World War II and extend best wishes for good health, peace and much happiness.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Mr. Clarence E. “Pete” Blake, Jr., VFW Post 5569.
Mr. Blake when asked where he would like to go celebrate his prestigious honor said, “Breakfast sounds good, how bout Cagles.”
The contingent of about 25 family, friends and vets; both from the American Legion as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars then headed to Cagles for a late breakfast to honor Mr. Blake.