As a medic with the 38th Infantry Division, Woody Hasty saw some of the worst that World War II had to offer. His discharge papers list his campaigns as southern Philippines, Luzon and New Guinea. He never talked about it to his wife, ever.
According to the discharge papers, Thomas Wilson “Woody” Hasty entered active duty April 11, 1941 when he was 23 years old and separated from active duty Nov. 14, 1945 at Camp Atterbury. His rank was technician fifth grade, a “tech corporal.” He earned a combat medical badge and a Bronze Star with “V” device for valor.
Woody was born and raised in Fairmount, and that’s where he returned after the war to farm and operate a feed and grain elevator that he owned. He became a private pilot. He and Barbara were married 27 years. Woody had four children from a previous marriage.
“He was a very calm guy,” said Barbara, during an interview at her home in Marion. “He just kind of took life in stride.”
And, generally speaking, Woody had no interest in going anywhere. The Company B reunions were different, though. He would not miss a reunion.
Barbara learned what she knew of Woody’s war at these reunions, listening to the guys talk.
One of his best friends, Jake Lochner, would also tell her stories. Once, Lochner said, they came across a Pilipino girl, who had been brutalized by Japanese soldiers. Barbara wondered if that experience, among others, made him someone with great sympathy for other people. He hated seeing people mistreated, she said.
Woody died Nov. 29, 2006. He was 89.
Near the end of his life, Woody could no longer do the things that he loved, like flying a plane or farming. When someone asked if he missed these things, Woody gave the answer that he always gave when dealing with the past.
“Those days are gone,” he would say.
But, his days as an American soldier will not be forgotten, thanks to his wife’s donation.
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