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VETERAN STORIES: Standard reminisces on service during Korean War
Artis Standard
Artis Standard, of Covington, gazes with pride upon his collection of medals and photos from his time in the Navy during the Korean War. Standard was only 19 years old when he joined the military. He completed basic training in San Diego, California, before being sent to war from 1951-1955. (Phillip B. Hubbard | The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. — Edward Artis Standard was born and raised on the Salem Campground off Salem Road in Newton County. Standard grew up as one of nine children with him being the last one living. 

He later graduated from Covington High School where he met his wife, Betty, during his senior year. 

Less than a year after their high school graduation, Artis and Betty Standard were married Aug. 26, 1950. Currently, they happily reside in Covington after living in Oxford for a short while. 

Standard considers this area “his home.” 

While that is the case, Standard left home when he enlisted in the Navy shortly after his wedding to battle in the Korean War. 

At 19 years old, Standard went to San Diego, California, for basic training. Then, he went to the war from 1951 to 1955. 

For the first two years, Standard was assigned to the Commander Naval Forces for the Far East in Tokyo, Japan. Standard served as a cryptographer encoding and decoding top secret messages. The latter two years were spent on a ship named the U.S.S. Noble. 

Aboard the U.S.S. Noble, Standard helped evacuate the Inchon Islands while Mrs. Standard was giving birth to their first born son back in San Diego. 

Though it was a crazy scene most days during his service, Standard highlighted how he relished his time in the Navy. 

“It was a privilege as far as I was concerned,” Standard said. “It was something I felt like I needed to do and I wanted to do. That’s the reason I joined.” 

As a result of his service, Standard received multiple medals. Gov. Brian Kemp presented Standard a Certificate of Honor for his time in the Navy. One of the highest honors Standard received was the Ambassador for Peace medal the Republic of Korea awarded him. 

Standard’s service continued his family legacy of being military members. 

He had three older brothers who also served. One served in the Navy while the other two served in the Army during World War II. 

According to Mrs. Standard, her husband holds his time in the Navy in high regard. 

“He’s got a sign in the front yard that says ‘U.S. Veteran,’” Mrs. Standard said. “He buys shirts, he’s got a ring that’s a Navy ring. He’s very proud of being a veteran.” 

Standard shares his pride with fellow servicemen that he stays in contact with to this day. 

As a matter of fact, the Standards graduated high school with Harvey Black who joined the Navy with Standard himself. 

Their relationship was close to Standard’s heart. 

“We worked together and went to school together,” Standard recalled. “We stayed together the whole time over there.” 

Additionally, Standard met people from Oklahoma and Kentucky. He actually stays in contact with the fellow serviceman from Kentucky. The Standards would meet with them once a year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

After being discharged from the military, Standard began working with the Southern Bell Company which later became AT&T. 

Standard attributed his experience as a cryptographer to his career there. 

Upon retirement, Standard became a lifetime Elk and joined the American Legion. He has also served for over 12 years on the planning and zoning committee for the City of Covington. 

Mrs. Standard expressed her pride in her husband for all he’s done. 

“He’s a person who gives of himself,” Betty Standard said. “So, that’s a big reason why he was in the Navy.” 

Standard’s efforts, along with the thousands of others who served, helped in the Korean War. 

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 and lasted until July 27, 1953. And, while some experts say the conflict never officially ended, the United States signed the Korean Armistice Agreement that China and North Korea also signed. South Korea refused to sign so, therefore, the war was not deemed over. 

When the US withdrew its troops from the Korean War, there were an estimated 40,000 soldiers who died and over 100,000 who were wounded. 

Now, nearing his 90th birthday, Standard reflects on his time serving in the Korean War. During his time in service, Standard explored other parts of the world. According to him, that was a real eye opener and makes him more appreciative of his country and remains proud to have served it. 

“I got to see a lot of the country,” Standard said. “I got to see how people in other parts of the world lived. And we got it made here in the United States compared to other places I’ve been to.”