Keith Locke: from war to peace

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

Chad Hobbs:

Messenger Staff


 It was war that led me in search of Keith Locke. I have always had a deep admiration for the men and women of our armed forces and our veterans, who so bravely defend the freedoms I enjoy. History, especially that involving war, has always enticed my curiosity.

 From the moment I learned there was a veteran of the Vietnam War who had made the cover of Life magazine in 1965 living in Meade County, I wanted to know his story.

As I turned off Battletown Road into the Locke’s driveway for the interview, the subject of this story would begin to change long before I would come to realize it. My motivation that day was to obtain details for an article about a man at war 55 years ago, but by the time I left that day the interview had become the story. War would lead me to find something more about peace.

When I arrived at the Lockes’ that day, I was welcomed by horses, an alpaca, and their dogs before I met the Lockes. There were barns, lots of trees and a pond; I was surrounded by life everywhere I looked. This was quite the opposite of anything related to war.

As we set down in their kitchen, a scrapbook lay on the table that Keith’s wife, Patty, had laid out for us to see. A newspaper clipping of Keith in his teens and his high school track coach was attached to the cover. Locke was met with emotions as he took me back to the late 50s – early 60s, while he tapped at the picture of his coach, a great man who Locke obviously had a deep admiration and respect for. It was a genuine love for his fellow man.

This will be the theme throughout this article. To hear Locke’s accomplishments, his focus always turned to stories about those around him rather than focusing on himself.


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