Military officer posthumously honored
An influential military officer from Luzerne County was posthumously honored last week at the Fort Hood U.S. Army base in Texas.
Hundreds of people, including the commanding general of the base, were on hand to pay tribute to the late Lt. Gen. John J. Yeosock as a memorial park was dedicated in his name.
“What an affair I tell you,” his brother, Plains Twp. funeral director Michael Yeosock, 84, said. “Tears came to my eyes when they talked about the things he did. I also was very happy.”
Lt. Gen. Yeosock, a Plains Twp. native, once commanded the United States Army Central, formerly the Third United States Army, the unit once headed by Gen. George Patton during World War II. He served in that role from 1989 to 1992.
A three-star general, he was the commander of all coalition ground forces, about 330,000 soldiers, during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
Lt. Gen. Yeosock was stationed multiple times at Fort Hood, often called “The Great Place,” during his career.
“Somehow Fort Hood wanted to honor him because he was a main person here,” Yeosock said.
Lt. Gen. Yeosock was raised in Plains Twp. and later graduated from the Valley Forge Military Academy.
He joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Penn State University, graduating in 1959.
As an Army officer, he served several combat deployments during the Vietnam War. He later served in Germany, Korea, Saudi Ara- bia and across the United States.
During Operation Desert Storm, he was credited with organizing the infamous “left hook” against the Iraqi Army that helped end the war in days.
Lt. Gen. Yeosock retired after 33 years, 3 days on active duty. After retirement, he moved to Peachtree City, Georgia. He died on Feb. 15, 2012.
Following a local wake and memorial service, Lt. Gen. Yeosock was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Lt. Gen. John Yeosock's wife Betta speaks at a ceremony honoring him last week at Fort Hood, Texas.