Opinion: A true hero will lead the parade


We like this a lot and for all the right reasons. Noblesville resident Chuck Layton, a U.S. Army Korean War veteran with quite a story to tell, has been chosen grand marshal of this year’s Fourth of July parade. A real hero, Layton co-authored a harrowing story of capture, imprisonment and escape titled A True Story of a Korean War POW/MIA: Escaped With Honor. According to the city, Layton – who was born in 1928 and with his wife, Jaci, is a 20-year Noblesville resident – was one of 37 U.S. captured and held as prisoners of war in a small mud hut from November 1951 to February 1952. It was one of the coldest winters ever recorded in Korea. Led by Layton, the POWs created an escape plan, and one night all the men escaped, were spotted by a plane and were reunited with American troops the next morning. For his role in orchestrating and leading the escape, Layton was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Korean Presidential Citation. In selecting Layton as the leader of the parade, Mayor John Ditslear rightfully also noted Layton’s volunteerism, which includes the Disabled American Veterans, Central Indiana Korean Veterans Association, Purple Heart Society and Kiwanis, among others. To boot, for five years he has been an active board member and volunteer for Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County. If you’re planning to be in the city on July 4, at least take the time to salute Layton at the parade, which begins at 5 p.m. And if you want to read Layton’s book, you may e-mail him at [email protected]. More information about the upcoming July 4th festivities is forthcoming, but residents may call 776.6367 now with questions.