Veteran Spotlight: J. Maurice Hopkins, ExPRT member
Published on May 26th, 2020 by Enrichmond Foundation
J. Maurice Hopkins is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the Vietnam War. He shared with us his story of service and, more recently, the final Honor Flight to recognize WWII veterans, to which Korean and Vietnam War veterans were also invited to attend. He is a member of the ExPRT advisory team for Historic Evergreen Cemetery.
From J. Maurice Hopkins:
I personally was one of the few that was activated to go to South Korea when the USS Pueblo (AGER 2) was captured by the North Koreans in 1968. There was a massive build-up of U.S. troops in South Korea immediately after the USS Pueblo was taken. Personally, my tour of duty started in the Philippines and I was reassigned to Osan, Korea where I was stationed for six months with the 317th Fighter Squadron that was activated from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. Langley Air Force Base was the first F-106 Fighter Squadron to bring those planes (new and innovative at the time) overseas.
P.S. – F.Y.I. – The North Koreans accused the U.S. of spying and still have the USS Pueblo (AGER-2). They have never returned it and the U.S. has never made any further attempts to have it returned.
My most recent involvement came in the Fall of 2018 when I was invited to attend the very last (#20) Honor Flight designated primarily for the WWII Veterans. Because there were so few WWII Veterans alive remaining to travel to this special event, I was permitted to attend along with some other Korean War and Vietnam Era Veterans.
These Honor Flights were established by Congress to reward those special veterans from all over America in all branches of service as a means of saying “thank you” for your service to our nation. I was humbled to have been selected and even more for attending. It was a one-day event where we got to visit all branches of service museums, walls, monuments and honorariums. Needless to say, I was very proud to be a part of this amazing prideful day.
J. Maurice Hopkins
*Merchandise Sales Corporation
*The Maggie L. Walker High School ALUMNI “Mass Classes” Mighty Green Dragons
*The MLWHS ‘Class of 1965’ REUNION
*The Oliver White Hill Foundation