During my recent trip to this year’s Artistry in Wood Show during Veterans Day weekend, I came across David Boone; husband, father, woodcarver, musician, and Vietnam Veteran. David carved a Veteran memorial (left) in remembrance of his time serving in Vietnam. Made from Basswood and Buckeye wood, he received a 1st place ribbon in one of the woodcarving categories during the Artistry in Wood Show 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.
Pictured right is David’s carving entitled, “A Letter From Home” depicting the long anticipated mail from loved ones back home. As you will see in his story, home is the foundation for not only David’s carvings, but also in his music and literary work.
This story begins with a man who was drafted in December of 1966 at the late age of 27, shortly after marrying his bride, Elaine Hensley Boone, into the Vietnam War. Into the 9th Transportation Division, he arrived, which was not supposed to be in any combat situation. David’s job was to pick up and transport wounded soldiers to safety. He received no combat training prior to arriving in Vietnam. Talk about on-the-job training, David soon found himself being pulled into the 9th Infantry Division in the Cam Ranh Bay along the Mekong Delta, throughout the infamous Tet Offensive, where he joined the 1097 Medium Boat Company. David said, “This massive base was never under enemy attack and was not expected to be.” That soon changed as his first evening upon arrival the base was hit. Not only was David pulling the wounded out amongst the bloodshed, but grabbing a gun and fighting against the Viet Cong. He served two years, all in Vietnam fighting for his country.
“We were just American boys that were drafted and went to war and did what our country said to do”…David Boone
David shared,“I believe my luck came from a buckeye my grandfather gave me before I left the states. I brought 14 additional buckeyes with me and shared them with my fellow soldiers. We joked about this often, and for some, the luck held out and safely brought us back home. During my service, I purchased a guitar in one of the villages in Vietnam and the guitar soon became the best soldier in the outfit. Music brought us together as we sang to pass the time. One of the songs was entitled “Sing Me Back Home” which became the title of my book when I got back home. It tells of our true encounters, but mostly I wrote it so my 2 children and 5 grandchildren would understand that after all the bad things that were said about the war and U.S. soldiers, that we were not the enemy, yet got a bad rap. We fought hard and long and won most if not all of our battles, but not without losing many soldiers in the process. We cared about civilians and took measures not to hurt anyone we were not supposed to be firing upon, regardless of how Hollywood movies have documented it. I wanted to tell the story as to how I saw it. We patched up and helped many wounded VC, we cared about everyone”
If you would like to order David’s book, “Sing Me Back Home”, you can email him at, Eboone15@frontier.com. The price is $18.00 plus shipping of $3.00.
His address is:
8659 Hwy 197
South, Burnsville, NC. 28714
Here is what David told us at the Artistry in Wood Show,
David’s tribute to his fellow servicemen comes through in his life-like carving of the three soldiers. David’s talents started early in life during elementary school days developing his drawing and painting skills. Growing up in Pensacola, a small township outside of Burnsville, NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains, he had a love and talent for music. Jumping on the “Elvis train” during the 50′s, he was part of The Rhythm Kings band, played many instruments, wrote songs and even took some of them to Nashville to try and start a career. He realized music would never be the same again! David (left) continues to write songs today. His father, Brooks Boone is a direct descendant of Israel Boone, brother of the American pioneer, Daniel Boone.
David is also a member of the elite 25 member, Caricature Carvers of America group. These devoted carvers meet once a year to prepare a new book with each carver contributing very detailed carvings and patterns to be included in their new book. This year at The Artistry in Wood Show, David was part of the “1930′s Main Street U.S.A.” themed exhibit.
David was inspired to carve “Clyde’s Auto Repair” after being an actor in a local town comedy play called “Dearly Departed”, where he played Clyde the owner of the garage shop.
“Woodcraft keeps me going”…David Boone
Thanks David for sharing your story with us.
Stay tuned for the next Woodworking Adventure,
auf Wiedersehen! …Frank