Louisville man makes personal calls to veterans to say thanks for serving

Cotton Bartley
Cotton Bartley

By David McArthur - bio | email  
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Marking the day with the formal salute each veteran deserves, a color guard presented a wreath at the War Memorial in downtown Louisville. The formalities are important, but often a simple "Thank You" goes a long way.

"I call people that I went to school with that were in Vietnam," said Cotton Bartley, who started his veterans list started 6-years ago.

Bartley started off by just calling a few family and friends. It quickly grew and now 40 vets get a personal call every Veterans Day.

"I think a lot of times they get forgotten. I just was determined in my later years that I was not going to do that," Bartley said.

On the other end of the line are vets like Danny Green. He served in the Army from 1966 to 1968.

"I was kind of stunned, in a way, because nobody had ever done that before and it really made be proud for what I had done," said Green.

Bartley himself never served in the military and says his gratitude was something he grew into.

"I have come to realize all the freedoms we have in our country. Back when I was younger, I took them all for granted. As I have got older I realized we do enjoy a lot in this country and they were not free," said Bartley.

Formal or not, Bartley encourages everyone to find a way to salute the sacrifice.