Some people don’t get the recognition they have earned while they are alive.
J. Carl Hinton was one of those people. Not that he wanted a spotlight on himself.
When Raymond Demos asked me if I would write a tribute to Carl for the California Chapter 4 of the National Association of Uniformed Services (now Pacific Gateway Chapter 4) newsletter, I was happy to say, “Yes.” Carl and his late wife, Louise, were dear friends whom I loved and respected. Carl was 93 when he died.
I was a short-time veteran, serving less than three years between 1946 and 1951, but Carl invited me to join NAUS anyway. Most NAUS members are retired career veterans. I joined and have never regretted it.
Carl was an amazing person. He never stopped serving. He was the driving force in organizing NAUS Chapter 4 and served as its first president in 1990.
I probably should include his beloved Louise in his credits because they were partners in everything. He served as head of volunteers at David Grant Medical Center for countless years. He served on the national board of directors of NAUS and contributed to its success. After Frank Kelley, Horace Little and Carl helped to organize the first Veterans Day parade in Fairfield, they met in my office. As a result of that meeting, the Tools of Learning for Children Citizenship program was started.
The local NAUS chapter partners with Tools. Since that time, more than 250,000 pocket constitutions have been given to students in Napa, Solano and Yolo counties.The kids use them to make notes and review. Without Carl, it never would have happened. For years, Carl spearheaded the fundraising that made the program possible. He never stopped serving. He and Louise always extended a helping hand.
No tribute to Carl would be complete without telling folks that his great-grandson Dallas was Carl’s pride and joy. The light of his life.
Most folks don’t know that Carl was a musician. As a youngster, he had his own band and played guitar and mandolin. He rubbed shoulders with a number of country western greats. When in Hawaii, Carl was a disc jockey on a country western radio station. I didn’t know that, either.
My guess is that the first thing Carl did when he got to heaven was to embrace his beloved Louise. Then he asked the Lord how he could serve. I think he and a pick-up band are playing to the Heavenly Hosts while Louise serves them her famous “dump cake,” and serving the Lord in other ways.
I think that the best tribute we can pay to Carl and Louise is to keep his service alive. I am donating $40 to Pacific Gateway Chapter 4 NAUS to buy 100 pocket constitutions in Carl’s memory. I hope everyone who reads this tribute will do the same.
Keep Carl serving on Earth while he serves the Lord above. Send your check to Pacific Gateway Chapter 4 NAUS, P.O. Box 1612, Travis AFB, CA 94535-1612. Carl would appreciate it.
Reach Murray Bass at 427-0744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.