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PFC Richard Lee Fulton

From Occupying Japan to War in Korea

by Richard D. L. Fulton

Former Brunswick area resident Richard Lee Fulton was born in Labell, Missouri, on May 30, 1930, to parents, Kansas-born Oscar Lee and Missouri-born Tina Fern Fulton. 

He had one brother (also named Richard) and five sisters: Juanita, Carmeta, Donna, Elmita, and Doris, according to his father’s obituary.

Fulton married his first wife, the late Regina Webber (Moler), also a Brunswick-area resident, and had one son who was born in the Frederick Memorial Hospital in 1949. He subsequently remarried several times and fathered a number of sons and daughters.

Fulton’s father, a World War I Veteran, was recorded at one time as having been a baker, apparently owning his own bakery in Lewis, Missouri, but retired in Florida after having been employed in the banking business. His mother, Tina Fern, was listed as a housewife who had never attended school.

The Army Home Town News Center (AHTNC) listed Fulton’s occupation prior to entering the service as a farmer.

Piecing together Fulton’s military record has remained something of a challenge, since according to the National Personnel Records Center, records that would have detailed Fulton’s military involvement “would have been in the area that suffered the most damage in the fire that date (on July 12, 1973) and may have been destroyed (which included Army personnel records from 1912 through 1963).”

Adding to the confusion, Fulton had initially enlisted in the Army using his brothers’ name, Richard David Lee Fulton, because he, himself, was too young to enter the service. Probably one of those, “It seemed like a good idea at the time” moments.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Fulton had initially served in the military from April 7, 1947, until June 17, 1947.  The AHTNC, via Radio Station WDBO, Orlando, Florida, reported that Fulton had served with the 24th Infantry Division, as part of the “occupation force,” led by General Douglas A. MacArthur. 

The occupation force had been dispatched to Japan in the wake of the Japanese surrender in 1945. The overall occupation lasted until 1952. During Fulton’s tenure with the occupation force, Fulton was promoted to Private First Class.

Records relating to Fulton’s enlistment in 1947 seem elusive, which could be due to their records having been lost in the National Personnel Records Center’s fire.

Fulton was discharged in 1947, after serving barely three months, although there is nothing in surviving military records that would indicate any reason for his discharge. It has been surmised it was due to his having been discovered to have entered the service under a false name.

Whatever the case may be, he successfully (and lawfully) re-enlisted on November 18, 1950, enlisting in Memphis, Tennessee, with the 34th Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, 77th Armed Infantry Company.

Fulton and the 34th Infantry Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, 77th Armed Infantry Company, were subsequently dispatched to Korea in March 1952, according to the AHTNC. He served in Korea with his unit as a squad leader in Company G.

Fulton was discharged from the Army on January 18, 1954.

It was noted in an obituary that was published at the time of his death that he had also served in Vietnam, although no military records appear to exist that would verify this statement.

Due to his service in Korea, he was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge and the UN Korean Service Ribbon, the Korean Service Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, National Defense Medal, and at least two others, according to the Report of Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States.

He ultimately retired as a laborer from the Buckhorn Rubber Company in Missouri and was a member of the Emmette J. Shields American Legion Post 55 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.

Fulton passed away at the Monroe Manor in Paris, Missouri on October 18, 2008. He was buried in the Mount Olive Cemetery in Hannibal, Missouri, with full military rites, provided by the Emmette J. Shields American Legion Post 55.

  by Ana Morlier, The Crazy Plant Lady

New Year? Meet New Zen

Happy January, readers! While January may seem like a rather bleak time for us gardeners, there still come advantages and ways to keep up our green thumbs (houseplants, a gardener’s current best friend). This is also a rare opportunity for peace and relaxation. Think about it, no relatives to please, no gifts to give, and no repetitive songs to listen to. It’s time to focus on the present moment. Time for you. What better way to ground yourself and connect with nature than with a Zen garden?

Cultivating and maintaining Zen gardens can offer a visual meditation or provide a means to do an activity mindfully, even if for a short time in your day. Zen gardens were inspired by the Song dynasty gardens in China. However, the approach was perfected in Japan by Zen Buddhists working to represent the simplicity and calm of nature through practice. The training is still quite popular today across the globe, and today you can take this long-cultivated ritual into your home!



Use any container you wish! Whether utilizing a small bowl, square block, or sandbox, any size will do, just as long as the container can withstand the water if you decide to use live plants.

Fill your container with:

Fine white gravel or sand. If you are using fake plants, use enough to fill your container. With real plants, get enough to top baseline soil about an inch.

Rocks (try for neutral colors. No two rocks should be the same, in size or shape). Rocks should meet the scale of your container and not create a singular focal point, which may distract from the rest of your garden.)

Steel or wooden garden rake (for larger scale projects. You can also use a fork, order a mini rake, or use a paintbrush).

If you don’t feel like freestyling it, no worries! Zen Garden kits are available anywhere, from Amazon to Five and Below.

Mindfully Creating Your Zen Garden

Take a couple of deep breaths to center your mind.

Fill the bowl with sand for fake plants, being sure to have patience with yourself if a few errant sand granules make their escape to the floor.

If you are using real plants, fill containers two-thirds full with dirt and the rest with sand after plants are inserted.

When planting real plants in your garden, dig holes for whatever plants you choose. You can include succulents and air plants for a model with less maintenance, moss, grasses, etc.

Be sure to cover any areas left unoccupied by plants with rocks, gravel, and/or sand.

When adding plants, try to keep it minimalist! You do not want to crowd your Zen garden. Leave plenty of room, so you can draw patterns in the sand.

You Can Create Your Garden in Two Ways

Island model: Groups of stones are clustered together (in “Islands”), with plants in the middle of the grouping. The surrounding gravel or sand then mirrors the fluid, graceful nature of the ocean, especially if you choose to trace trails into the pliable materials.

Perimeter model: Plant/place plants on the perimeter of your garden, then border them with stones to separate plants and water from the sand. In addition, you will have more “sand canvas” to “draw” upon. Another idea is to have some plant outcroppings on the perimeter of your garden, with larger stones bordering these plants to prevent water and all of the sand from coming through.

Setting Your Zen Garden Into Action

Make sure your space is as quiet as you can make it.

After setting your plants and dirt in place, take in the scents of the space. Notice the smell of earth or the fresh scent of plants to center your mind into the present moment.

Place or rearrange stones within your garden. Formations should not be symmetrical, but organic and bare, in order to reflect the raw beauty of nature. Take time to notice the texture, temperature, or other details of the rocks and sand that you touch. Feel free to cluster rocks in groups of three (as is common), but do what feels right to you and your vision for the aesthetic flow of your garden.

Different shaped rocks have various meanings, which can also help you in creating a garden with a mood that suits your own:

Sanson-ishigami: One large rock, representing a deity (or Buddha in some traditions) with two supporting stones.

Vertical rocks: Wood/trees.

Flat, horizontal: Water.

Arching stones: Fire.

Low/Reclining: Earth or metal.

Try out different combinations but remember not to crowd your garden. Larger rocks are especially helpful for mirroring the impressive nature of mountains or replicating other landmarks.

Once satisfied with stone placement, get out a tool (such as a mini-rake, fork, or other means to manipulate sand) and slowly, mindfully, trace patterns into the sand. Generally, you want to recreate a water-like effect, such as how water ripples and spreads after a stone is thrown. It does not have to be circular, as long as lines create flow in harmony with each other, and look fluid and wave-like. Notice the sounds your tools make creating this design, and the weight of your tool. Also, notice your breathing as you move this part of the earth and become one with it.

When completed, take time to appreciate your work and its natural beauty. Notice emotions such as gratitude, connection, and mindfulness. If you don’t notice these, take time to check in with what you may be feeling. Mindfulness might bring more attention to a difficult emotion, rather than tranquility. If you notice frustration, that’s completely normal! Your Zen garden acts to center you (and works in meditation, too) in a busy world of disconnection with our bodies and emotions.

Once this step is complete, rake away any patterns. While it sounds self-defeating, the practice reminds us of natural impermanence and prevents attachment, allowing for flexibility and flow. Put tools away and appreciate yourself for completing the practice.

This is a simplified example of a Zen garden creation and perfect for those beginning the practice. Just the simple acts of becoming mindful of your surroundings, breathing, and actions are enough to help refresh and rejuvenate a person for the rest of their day. This is also helpful for those who have trouble sitting still during meditation, as gardening supplies a means of movement, flow, and mindfulness. May this practice provide you peace and tranquility in the new year. O genki de (take care), readers!

A miniature Zen garden, featuring tan gravel and moss.

Credit to: Credit to Faena Aleph, David Beaulieu of The Spruce, LanguageDrops, Kira from Your Body the Temple, Craft Schmaft, Tilen Space.

by Carie Stafford

Pets of Interest photo 2My name is Honshuu (pronounced hon shoe), which means “trouble” in Japanese. Why in Japanese? Because I am a Shiba Inu mix, one of six ancient dog breeds from Japan. We were bred for hunting and flushing out small game. Some say we have cat-like agility; I like to say I move like a ninja! Speaking of cats, we do get along well with them—they are fun to chase.

I am the smallest of the Japanese breeds, at about 18 to 22 pounds and 13.5 to 16.5 inches tall at the shoulder.

I am a talker, and I am sturdy, muscular, and confident. I need exercise every day. Many mistake us for foxes since our coloring and size are similar. We come in red (that’s me), black and tan, or sesame (red with black-tipped hairs), with a cream, buff, or gray undercoat.

We have a two-layer coat. The inner coat is thick and soft and the outer coat is coarse—short to medium length—naturally waterproof and naturally protects us from cold temperatures. We do shed, but I am naturally clean and groom myself like a cat. I know it sounds silly, but it’s in my DNA.

Our nature is to be independent, and we are reserved with strangers; but, once we get to know you and like you, we are loyal and affectionate.

I have to say that I am not a fan of other dogs, although I do have a few friends. I don’t possess the “pack” mentality that most dog breeds have; I am more of the loner type. My human family is my pack.

Enough about my genetics. Let’s talk about me. I was rescued when I was about six-eight months old, and have been the head of my household for eleven years now. I do a perimeter check every morning around my home, and can be found chasing rabbits and squirrels when they cross my path. I love to ride in the car, and I am an avid camper. I have been known to sleep in other people’s sleeping bags, so my mom got me my own.

I am a member of Boy Scout Troop 270 and Venturing Crew 270. You will find me at most camp outs and at many of their meetings. When we turn onto Elm Street in Thurmont, I get excited and can’t wait to get out and say hello to my fellow scouts.

I am a talker, although I wouldn’t say that I am obnoxiously barky, and I have been known to mutter under my breath when I disagree with a command, which is usually when I am begging and get caught. I do have to admit that I really aim to be the center of attention, and if I don’t think I am getting enough of it, I will definitely “tell” you all about it.

I have to run…I see a squirrel!