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Overlooked WW II POW gets late proud salute

(c)2012 NPT PHOTO BY DAVID POPIEL

George and Judy Cureton have been married for more than 34 years. Together
they have seven children and live off Asheville Highway.
Published: 8:59 AM, 09/25/2012
 

Author: David Popiel
Source: The Newport Plain Talk

It took the Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice to discover a Cocke County military veteran who had been overlooked for honor as a prisoner of war.

George J. Cureton, 87, received a much-deserved salute and American flag, and many "thank yous" for his service during World War II as an Army infantryman.

Cureton grew up in Newport and joined the Army before he turned 18 in July 1943. From there he fought in Italy and Germany, finally being captured by Germans in Italy. He spent from October 1944 until April 30, 1945 in a prisoner camp.

He apparently never said much about his days as a prisoner near Munich nor about his Purple Heart, good conduct medal, and WW II combat.

Smoky Mountain Home Health & Hospice (SMHHH) began a program more than a year ago called We Honor Veterans and searched out these older men and women and found Cureton.

He had been under their care, said SMHHH social worker Debbie Williams when interviews revealed not only his military service but the fact of his seven-months camp imprisonment.

With Sept. 21 being POW Day in the nation, it was a fitting time to visit Cureton's home and celebrate his military service with honors.

For more details, please see the latest edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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