2023 Honored Veteran, Larry Pieper
Pieper enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1957 during a time of tension between The Soviet Union and the United States, because he wanted to do the best he could for his country and his family. He took his Basic Training at the Naval Base in Charleston, SC. After Basic, he attended additional training in Norfolk, VA to become a qualified ship Engineman.
According to Pieper, the training was pretty easy for him, and he settled comfortably into a position as Engineman on the USS Thuban AKA-19 Amphibious Ship an Andromeda Class attack/cargo ship, where he earned the classification of Engineman 3rd Class. He was promoted to the rank of Recruit Chief Petty Officer (RCPO) during his tour of duty and was placed in charge of his Company.
One of the peak adventures of his military career happened when his ship was ordered to participate in the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. While on that mission, the crew managed to gather starfish to bring home as souvenirs, but unfortunately, on the trip home, the starfish spoiled and smelled up the ship so badly they had to be thrown overboard. He also spent a lot of time in the sun on deck during the mission and also while gathering starfish, suffering a sunburn so severe that he, and several of his shipmates, had to spend time in sick bay on the trip home.
On this Veteran’s Day 2023, Pieper wants to send his thanks to all the good shipmates that served with him on the Thuban.
After leaving the service in 1961, Pieper worked for the Carpenter’s Union as a drywall and metal stud hanger. Since 1986, he and his wife (and best friend) of 50 years, the former Judy Byrum have worked together in the merchandise and uniform departments for the Indianapolis Colts.
They are also avid fishermen and love working together doing yard work. He calls it their “Happy Place.”
He has three brothers and one sister. He and his wife are the proud parents of five daughters: Karen Hayder, Julie Garmon, Connie Pieper, Cindy Pieper, Carla Basham, 15 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren.
2023 Honored Veteran, Sherry Hubert
The Southsider Voice is proud to announce U.S. Army Sergeant Sherry Babbs Hubert as one of this year’s honored veterans for Veteran’s Day 2023.
A 1973 graduate of Southport High School, Sherry enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1975. She took her Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC. After Basic, Ms. Babbs was trained in Track and Wheel Vehicle Maintenance at the Advanced Individual Training facility at Fort Knox, KY.
After A.I.T., she served as a Tank Mechanic and Truck Driver at Fort Knox for four years. During this time, she met and married another of our 2023 honored veterans, John Hubert. After Fort Knox, she was assigned to posts in Amberg, Germany, then Nuremburg, Germany where she attained the rank of Sergeant (E-5). During her years of active duty, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Award, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
She says the thing she remembers fondly about her time overseas is that she got to travel around Germany, Austria, and Italy while she was there and says she would love to go back to visit one day.
Sherry left the Army in 1981 but stayed in Germany with her husband. John retired in 1984.
Back in Indiana she worked as a civilian at Camp Atterbury, Indiana during soldier deployments and later at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service office located on the old Fort Benjamin Harrison grounds in Indianapolis until her retirement in 2021.
She is now enjoying her retirement in Indianapolis with her sweet and loyal Jack Russel canine while working in her garden, visiting family, and traveling whenever possible.
Sherry is the widow of John Hubert and has four stepchildren, seven grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
2023 Honored Veteran, John Hubert
John Hubert was a 20-year U.S. Army veteran who enlisted in 1964 and took his Basic Training at Fort Dix, NJ then went on to receive his Advanced Individual Training in Army Vehicle Mechanics at Fort Bliss, TX.
Later he entered and graduated from the NCO Academy in Georgia. During his 20 years of service, in additions to Fort Dix and Fort Bliss, he was also stationed at Fort Knox, KY within the Continental United States. His overseas assignments included two tours of duty in South Korea and three tours in Germany.
Hubert was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Expert Marksmanship Medal with M-1 carbine bar.
He retired from active duty with the rank of First Sergeant in 1984 then, as a civilian worked for the State of Indiana at Camp Atterbury, Edinburgh, Indiana. In his free time he enjoyed fishing and golf.
John passed away in 2020, during the Covid Pandemic. He was 74. He was survived by his wife, Sherry (Babbs) Hubert, four children, John Hubert, Jr., Ellen Heimer, Crystal Hubert, and Yvonne James, seven grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.