WWII veteran sees dream fulfilled

Published 7:32 pm Thursday, May 10, 2012

Rep. Kurt Wallace thanks William Posey for his service before having his copy of “Dress Blues” signed by the author.

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Shelby County Reporter

As William A. Posey walked into Parnell Memorial Library, U.S. military veterans, family and community members alike stood in honor of the World War II veteran.

On May 7, Posey had a dream fulfilled.


Posey, who was born in Back Creek and now lives in Montevallo, had written a book in 1979 about his WWII experiences, but never had the book published. His book, titled “Dress Blues,” concludes with, “I am proud to be able to say, ‘I was a Marine,’ though I never did get those blasted dress blues!”

When he told his Southern Care Hospice nurse, Ollie Munford, about his book and his desire to see it published, she took the manuscript to Mara Tierce, community relations director of Southern Care in Clanton.

“Ollie came in and said, ‘Mara, we need to get this published,’” Tierce said.

Following the discussion, Tierce met Dixon Brooke Jr., president and CEO of EBSCO Industries, at a South Shelby Chamber of Commerce luncheon. When she mentioned the book, Brooke told Tierce to contact his assistant. In the end, EBSCO published Posey’s book for family members, then printed a second time as word spread.

Tierce then got in touch with Robert Horton, public information officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She invited Horton to a book signing she set up for Posey in Montevallo, but their conversation led to something more.

“Mr. Posey’s book is called ‘Dress Blues,’ but he never got them,” Tierce said. “I asked Mr. Horton, ‘How hard would be to get this man his dress blues?’

Tierce also called State Representative Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville, to see how he could help. Wallace was one of the people who contributed to the purchase of Posey’s dress blues, which were presented to 93-year-old Posey at his book signing.

“Mara Tierce contacted me, and as I’m a military guy, I said tell me how I can help,” Wallace said. “To get dress blues is to say you’ve reached a pinnacle. You earn them.”

Social Worker Pam Boykin worked with Posey through Southern Care.

“He’s a cut-up,” she said, smiling. “I thought he was just a good, old, country boy, and then I found out he’d been an avid writer.”

After Posey walked through the group of veterans in red from the Marine Corps League at the library, he was seated at the front of the room next to his brother, Richard Posey, who is also a WWII veteran.

“Oh my,” said Posey of the event and of the more than 50 attendees.

Posey volunteered for the Marine Corp in 1944 at the age of 25. After 10 months of service overseas as a light machine gunner, he was honorably discharged.

As he wrote in his book, “Dress Blues,” Posey joined the Marines because “I wanted the best training I could get to better my chances of survival over there. In my opinion, the Corps proved that training.”

At his book signing, Posey smiled and put a hand to his mouth as Horton unwrapped two packages in front of him. The packages contained the hat and uniform to his dress blues.

“I’ll try them on when I get home,” Posey said, smiling. “Thank you. You’ll have to read my ‘Dress Blues.’ Every word is true—more or less.”

“It was a God thing,” she added. “The only person who can order dress blues is a former Marine, and Bob Horton is a former Marine.”

The following individuals and businesses contributed to the event: Probate Judge Bobby Martin, Pinedale Gardens (loaned ferns), Darlene’s Deli (donated food and serving pieces), Jadon Downs (Chilton County Boy Scout, led in the Pledge of Allegiance), Hannah Tierce and Faith Patterson (sang the National Anthem), C&C Trophy, Lifeguard Ambulance Service (donated funds to cover cost of Dress Blues), Verbena Baptist Church Sunday School class led by Karol Collier, and Aubry Wallace and Jerry Grooms (presented the colors).