Master Sergeant (E-8) Carter trained thousands

Master Sergeant (E-8) Paul Carter finishes the annual Bataan Memorial Death March marathon in New Mexico. After U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula in World War II, 75,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to march 65 miles to prison camps. Japanese soldiers killed thousands. Soldiers were starved and beaten. When too weak to walk, soldiers were bayoneted, Carter said. CONTRIBUTED
Master Sergeant (E-8) Paul Carter finishes the annual Bataan Memorial Death March marathon in New Mexico. After U.S. surrender of the Bataan Peninsula in World War II, 75,000 Filipino and American troops were forced to march 65 miles to prison camps. Japanese soldiers killed thousands. Soldiers were starved and beaten. When too weak to walk, soldiers were bayoneted, Carter said. CONTRIBUTED

Veteran of the Week

MADISON – Master Sergeant (E-8) Paul Carter retired after 22 years of service.

Carter enlisted as a high school senior in 1972. “My mother and father had to sign a waiver for me. I was 17,” he said. “My father was adamant that I join the Army due to the loss of his brother in the Marine Corps during World War II.”

Carter had been working in a textile plant after school. “I didn’t think anything would be worse. I was wrong,” he said.

He entered basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. “The training was brutal. I was knocked off my feet once due to being a little slow following a command,” Carter said.

As signal corps radio operator at Fort Benning, Ga., he delivered messages “to an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (the Army’s bomb squad).” Volunteering for that training, Carter graduated with honors in 1974. Only three original students remained from a class of 20.

“I worked many assignments that involved dealing with chemical and biological agents, nuclear weapons, unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices,” Carter said.

Carter was assigned to Edgewood Arsenal, Md. as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Chemical Demolition Specialist. With 8th EOD team, he was deployed to the Republic of Korea.

Carter served as Team Leader, 40th EOD at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Miss. At Fort Gillem in Atlanta, Ga., he served as both Operations NCO, 547th EOD and as Team Leader, 13th EOD.

At Redstone Arsenal, he worked as Operations NCO, EOD School and as Non Commissioned Officer in charge of Hazardous Devices School. “I started as an instructor and worked my way up to Army Chief of Hazardous Devices School for 19 years,” Carter said. He now works as an explosive training specialist.

“We produced thousands of civilian bomb technicians who still serve their communities,” Carter said.

During these assignments, he traveled in Panama, Peru, Chile and Israel. After 22 years, he retired as Master Sergeant (E-8).

Carter earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Columbia College and a master’s degree in adult education from East Carolina University.

He and wife Judy, “the finest lady in the world,” have been married 33 years. Their daughter Sarah and husband Chad of Harvest have one son, Connor. The Carters’ son Nathan of Huntsville attends Athens State University. Paul’s daughter Jennifer of Charlotte, N.C. has two sons.

Paul was troop leader of Cub Scout Troop 324 and Scoutmaster for Troop 204. “My final year, Nathan earned his Eagle badge,” Paul said.

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