Monday, November 30, 2020

Honoring Our Local Veterans – Milton Blake

Milton Blake is a beloved and long-time resident of the Southlake community. He and his late wife, Beverly Blake, relocated to Southlake 15 years ago from Chicago to live near his daughter, Robin Cornish and her late husband Frank Cornish.

Blake and his wife were both active members in the community. She served as the Senior Advisor Commission chair while  he actively participates in the Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture.

Before he and his family decided to make Southlake home, Blake was a very active member of the military. He served 32 years in the U.S. Army.

Blake always knew he was destined to serve. When he was a young boy, he participated in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. As a teenager, he participated in JROTC and eventually became commander of his high school unit.

After high school, Blake attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He graduated in 1957, which is the same year he was drafted to the U.S. Army.

He attended basic training in Colorado at Fort Carson and was quickly promoted to trainee leader for his platoon.

He was later transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where he worked in construction drafting, which included weapon plans. While he was there, Blake was recommended to participate in a post soldier competition, a contest where the top performers compete against other units. Blake won.

Not to long after his victory, Blake enrolled into cadet school at Fort Benning, Georgia and graduated as second lieutenant in 1959.

Following graduation, he transferred to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri where he continued to train troops for six months.

His expertise in training others led him to working for the Army’s training division.

Blake traveled to various states to train troops for the remainder of his career. He moved through the ranks as company commander, battalion executive officer, battalion commander and concluded his career in the G-2 (intelligence) unit. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

After retirement, Blake returned to his childhood roots in Chicago and worked for the Reserve Office Association where he presented awards to high performing JROTC units at local high schools.

As things started to slow down, Blake and his wife, decided to make Southlake their second home for years to come. Blake lost his wife in August 2019. They were married 59 years. They have two children together, daughter Robin Cornish, and late son Milton Blake Jr., as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Blake summed up what Veterans Day means to him in just a few words.

“It’s a celebration of patriotism and celebration of veterans and armed forces, he said. “Today they are honored for their services.”

If you happen to see Blake, be sure to thank him for his service.