By Faye Gaston

There is a large portrait of Brig. Gen. Richard B. Stone mounted on the wall of the Richard Stone Complex.

The caption reads: In honor of Colonel Stone's life-time devotion to duty and 37 years of military service, it is fitting and proper that the armory which now houses the Service Battery, 3rd Battalion, 117 Field Artillery and the proposed new armory in Union Springs be named, "Fort Richard B. Stone."

It was later named the Richard Stone Complex. As the best known military veteran in Bullock County, we review his military career for this year's Veterans Day.

Richard Branham Stone began his military career in June 1944 and served during World War II in the Philippine Islands and Japan. He returned to the Enlisted Reserve Corps after discharge from active duty where he served until July 1951.

He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Quartermaster Corps after receiving his law degree and completed ROTC. He served in the Officer Reserve Corps until January 1954.

In January 1954 he joined the Alabama Army National Guard and was assigned as the first Commander of the 781st Transportation Company (Light Truck), Union Springs, Alabama.

He practiced law in Union Springs from 1951 until his unit was activated during the Berlin Crisis in October 1961. He served on active duty at Fort Polk, Louisiana for one year.

His subsequent assignments in the Alabama National Guard included various staff positions at battalion, group, and division levels, including Chief of Staff with HQ, AL ARNG (headquarters of Alabama Army National Guard), and State Judge Advocate General. He retired from the Alabama National Guard in August 1981 after more than 37 years of military service.

His military decorations include the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Occupation Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Distinguished Service Medal of Alabama.

Richard Stone served as Assistant Finance Director for the State of Alabama for eleven years.

In 1976 he was named to the full-time position of State Property and Disbursing Officer with the State Military Department.

He served as the Contracting Officer for the State Military Department and as Secretary of the Armory Commission of Alabama, the Corporate arm of the Military Department.

While living in Union Springs he was active in civic and community Affairs. He was married to Queenelle Crook Pruett. They were the parents of Richard B. Stone, Jr.; Virginia (Ginger) S. Main, and Leigh S. Combest.

They had four grandsons (Paul and Thomas Main and Chandler and Crook Combest), and a grand-daughter Katie Stone.

Upon his retirement, General Stone returned to Union Springs. He died here on August 29,1996. He is buried in Oakhill Cemetery in Union Springs.

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