Military service and faith in the Green family go back a long way, according to Lavone Green Fryar of Lake Charles. On July 23, a promotion ceremony for distinguished participants added to the family’s 250-year military heritage.
Fryar’s father, 98-year-old World War II Army veteran First Class Jerry Green, pinned his grandson Jason Green at a ceremony marking his promotion to colonel of the United States Air Force.
Jerry and his wife, Josephine Plott Green, lived in Westlake in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. The Greens’ eldest son, Foy Ray, a 1964 graduate of Westlake High School, died. Jason’s parents are David Green, a 1970 WHS graduate and Vaundina Ward Green, a 1970 LaGrange graduate who was a teacher at Calcasieu Parish. Lavone Green Fryar graduated from WHS in 1971. The youngest sister, Melinda Susan Green Keracik, graduated from a school in Beaumont while Jack and Josephine Green lived there for a brief period.
“Paw Paw Jack,” as Jason refers to his grandfather Jack, also pinned his grandson’s promotion to second lieutenant in the US Air Force in 2001 and lieutenant in 2016.
Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce, Commander of the Continental North America Aerospace Defense Command Region, US Air Forces Northern, US Air Forces Space and First Air Force helped with the pinning at the recent ceremony. He said it was an honor to celebrate with the Green family his family’s proud heritage and the well-deserved promotion of one of the Airmen, according to a press release from his department.
“When the general said that few Airmen in our force have a 98-year-old World War II veteran to attend their ceremony and can note a continuous military family line dating back to the 1700s,” Fryar told his father , who always had a great sense of humor, joked, “Better learn to do this without my help, I don’t think I’ll be around when Jason becomes general.”
Fryar’s father, Jack Green, fought in the European Theater at the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy, 1944. He was assigned to Support Company, 235th Combat Engineer Battalion, 5th Infantry Division, 2nd Corps .
“Dad didn’t talk much about the war when he was younger,” Fryar said. “I read a book about the Battle of Monte Cassino, and now I know why. It was horrible.
Fryar’s mother was engaged to her father before the war. They were married when he returned, and she soon learned not to pat him to wake him up.
“He was flying straight out of bed like he was coming out of a foxhole, ready for a fight until he made a stabbing motion like with a bayonet,” Fryar said. “So my mom started using a broomstick. It took years before she could approach him to wake him up.
Jason Green is the second American Colonel in the Green lineage. The first was Colonel John Green born in 1730, and Jason’s direct relative through six generations of Greens, including Colonel Jason Green, David Green, Pfc. Jack Green, Hunter John Green, William Green, John Rouzee Green, Thomas Green, Colonel John Green.
“Robert Green is the first Green who came to Jamestown and settled in Culpeper County, Virginia,” Jason Green said. “He built his house and called it Liberty Hall and had seven sons, the fourth was John Green.”
Colonel John Green was Colonel of the 10th Volunteer Infantry Regiment, which is the original National Guard, and fought in the American Revolution. He’s been dead longer than anyone buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Today, Jack Green has been his wife’s primary caretaker for 76 years. Some days are better than others. Fryar suggested that her parents take advantage of round-the-clock care at the Jennings Veterans Retirement Home.
However, Jack Green, a man who loves God and his country – he told his daughter that if he was a young man he would enlist to serve again – soldiers.
He’s grateful that he didn’t put Josephine in a nursing home during the COVID shutdown, because he can’t imagine what it would have been like to visit her through glass.
“I made a commitment to the Lord,” he told his children. “She’s mine. The first time I saw her across the street, I immediately knew she would be my bride. God gave her to me. I’ll take care of her. her until one of us dies.
“My father’s idea of a successful life is to live an obedient life to the Lord,” Fryar said. “He raised us all the same and one of his favorite memories to share was always learning to pray from his mother.”
Fryar said his parents didn’t have much but managed their money well and were able to retire at 55 to enjoy hunting and fishing.
“He has told us many times that he has been blessed beyond measure and he gives God all the glory.”