Today, we salute all veterans of the armed forces. Before being drafted to serve in World War II, John Thomas (J.T.) Beck had never left his family farm in Gilchrist County, except for a few trips to Gainesville. The year was 1943, and Beck was a 19-year-old newlywed when he answered a call to duty. While in the Army, Beck worked in a replacement depot, which was a military unit containing reserves for troops on the front-line. “I never saw the battlefields, but I can remember seeing planes flying over our heads with their motors shot off,” Beck said. “I saw so many things happen; I know it was God’s blessing that brought me home safely.” Once World War II ended and Beck’s tour of duty was over, he returned to the United States ready to live out his days in Gilchrist County. He is now 92-years-old and still living in his hometown of Trenton.