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Salyersville Independent


Homer Willis Barnett

Master Sergeant Homer W. Barnett, age79, passed away peacefully at the Highlands ARH Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky on May 26, 2022 after a long battle with kidney failure and diabetes. Homer was a decorated combat veteran who served in the Vietnam War and spent over 28 years in uniform serving his nation with distinction and honor. The latter portion of his distinguished military career was spent as a recruiter and supervisor for the Kentucky National Guard encompassing the entire Eastern Kentucky region where he was born and dearly cherished.

Homer was born on November 19, 1942 in Salyersville, Kentucky to his parents Ollie J. and Bonnie Barnett. When only 17 years old, Homer decided he wanted to join the United States Army. He persuaded his parents to sign the underage waiver and entered military service on October 25, 1960. His various assignments were extensive over the next 3 decades.

Key assignments and locations included the Washington DC area, Fort Benning, Georgia, Vietnam and Thailand, Fort Carson, Colorado, Pueblo, Colorado as a member of the ROTC cadre at now Colorado State University – Pueblo, Naha Port in Okinawa, and a Master Recruiter for the Kentucky National Guard. Homer retired from active service on November 30, 1990 during the Persian Gulf War. He never truly hung up his uniform, but highly regarded the military and enjoyed being recognized as a veteran and defender of freedom for his country. An old soldier that was not forgotten, but just started fading away!

During his combat tour in Vietnam and Thailand, Master Sergeant Barnett earned the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. Other awards include the Army Commendation Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Bars, Master Recruiter Badge, Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Advance Level), Overseas Service Ribbon, and M-16 Rifle Expert Qualification Badge. Anyone that knew Homer would readily know that he would always qualify expert with his assigned weapon. Homer was a gun enthusiast, collector and shooter throughout his life. It was his hobby and passion.

Following retirement from military service, Homer was instrumental in the startup of Sandy Valley Transportation Services, Inc., which was his final public service job.
Homer is survived by his wife, Dorola Barnett, and one daughter, Twila Blanton. Homer’s other daughter Sonja Barnett Howes is deceased. He also leaves behind two wonderful grandchildren: Connor Blanton and Mason Howes. His surviving siblings are James C. Barnett in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sandra Lynn Russell in Palmer Lake, Colorado, and Vaughn Barnett in Peoria, Arizona.

Funeral services were held on Sunday, May 29, 2022. He was interred in a family plot on Middle Fork alongside his beloved daughter Sonja.

Pallbearers: Phillip Blanton, Connor Blanton, Mason Howes, Randall Hardin, Don Lawson, and Jennings Williams.

Honorary Pallbearers: Ted Haminmaster, Ray David Sally, Kenneth Williams, and Phillip Williams.

There were military rites given by the Salyersville D.A.V. Chapter 15 the day of the funeral.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Salyersville D.A.V Chapter 15, in honor of Homer Willis Barnett.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Magoffin County Funeral Home.

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