Asbury United Methodist Church, Cinnaminson, NJ
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Asbury Veteran: Ken Morton

Army veteran
 

Ken grew up in Moorestown, NJ.  In July 1966, he received orders to report to the Induction Center at Fort Dix, NJ, where,   due to overcrowded conditions, he remained in limbo for 7 days before being assigned to Basic Training there.  The close proximity to Moorestown afforded Ken the opportunity to return home for many visits.

 

After achieving the highest score on the rifle range, Ken earned a weekend pass.  His impressive typing abilities landed him an assignment to an air-conditioned office in Headquarters.  Not bad duty for a Buck Private in Boot Camp.

 

Following Basic Training, Ken received orders to report to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and lived “off-post” in Lawton, OK with his wife. During his assignment at Ft. Sill he met a Staff Sergeant with a similar civilian background. The Sergeant had been a Buyer for Palmer’s in Chicago.  Ken was an assistant buyer for Wanamaker’s.  During the conversation, Ken mentioned his typing skills and was quickly assigned to work in S-4 (supply).

 

Ken’s original assignment to Ft. Sill was to attend Artillery Training School. Several months later he received orders to report for duty overseas and was assigned to a unit in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, arriving three days before Christmas. Once again, Ken started to promote his typing skills, which paid off and got him assigned to the Personnel Dept. at Headquarters.

 

Shortly after getting settled in, Ken met the Chaplain and offered his services as a Chapel Organist.  The offer was accepted on the spot for all the Protestant services.  Eventually, the Priest asked if he would play for Mass every Sunday. Ken accepted. As the organist it also prevented him from being assigned to the Duty Roster on weekends.

 

His duties at Headquarters were highly classified and involved tracking military personnel, weapons, equipment etc. along with a daily Readiness Status Report. The Squadron’s Mission was to protect the border.  Bad Hersfeld was the last town in West Germany. Convoys of tanks passed by their rented house when Russia invaded Chezoslovakia, a scary situation.  They couldn’t just tune into CNN for a news update.  Exchange of gunfire between the East Germans and US troops was not uncommon.

 

Ken was discharged in June of 1968. His assignment to the Personnel Dept. helped secure a comfortable ride home on a commercial airline champagne flight along with seven Army buddies, instead of the standard “military transport.Ken’s still meets with his Army friends and their families every other year.

 

Ken lives in Cinnaminson with his wife Nancy. His son Rob lives in Delran with his wife, Brett, and their children, Jade and Ryan.

 

Ken was an organist at Moorestown Community Church for 17 years, filling in when needed at Asbury United Methodist since 1965. He came to Asbury in 1971 as a long term visitor and has been our fulltime organist since 1992.

Bonus: Ken offers the full unabridged version of his military service story at (click here to read it -->) Ken Morton full story