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.
The City of Southlake takes pride in employing world class employees to serve the Southlake community.
Veterans are valuable assets to our organization and are equipped with a specialized skillset and easily adapt to the City’s core values of Integrity, Innovation, Accountability, Commitment to Excellence and Teamwork due their military training.
The City employs 41 veterans who have served from various branches of the military. Among those are Emergency Manager Amanda Meneses and Police Officer Cpl. Robert Briggs.
Meet Amanda Meneses
Meneses served in the U.S. Navy for 14 years and held two positions, the master-at-arms and military working dog handler. She now serves the Southlake community as the emergency manager.
She said values are ingrained in her from day one at boot camp and still hold true to this day.
Meneses explained how the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment have a significant impact on her role and day-to-day activities.
“Honor. I am accountable for my professional and personal behavior. I am mindful of the privilege I have to serve my community. Courage gives me the moral and mental strength to do what is right, with confidence and resolution, even in the face of adversity. Commitment. It is my daily duty to join together as a team with co-workers, city employees and members of the community to improve the quality of our work, our people, ourselves and the community as a whole,” she said.
Meneses keeps these core values and their influence in how she serves the Southlake community, even after she’s been out of the Navy for 10 years. To her Veterans Day means four words: Honor, Sacrifice, Hope and Freedom.
Meet Cpl. Robert Briggs
Briggs served in the U.S. Army for 13 years. He now protects and serves with the City of Southlake Police Department. He said that lessons and experiences he has from the military are utilized every day in his career.
“These include lessons and experiences with leadership, logistics and analysis, as well as the Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage,” Briggs said.
He defines Veterans Day as a day to be grateful.
“We should of course always be thankful for the sacrifices in which our current and former military veterans have made for our personal freedoms and liberties. Veterans Day serves as an annual reminder for Americans to take time to deliberately thank our American Patriots,” Briggs said.
The City of Southlake would like to thank all veterans for their service.
A slightly cloudy Thursday was the perfect setting for Southlake’s 17th annual Stars & Stripes Independence Day celebration.
The event kicked off at 6:00 PM with the Southlake Community Band performing in Family Park and The Key West Band Band in Frank Edgar Cornish, IV Park. Arts & crafts, games, inflatables, and concessions were enjoyed by all while stilt walkers, clowns, and unicyclers strolled around Town Square.
At 8:00 PM Southlake’s Mayor Laura Hill kicked off the patriotic ceremony with the help of a flyover by a WWII A-26 Invader provided by the Invader Squadron. Following the flyover, 15-year-old Southlake resident and classically trained vocalist Jayden Goldberg performed the National Anthem. She was accompanied by the Southlake Honor Guard comprising of members from the City’s Fire & Police Departments, the Lonestar Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans and the leader of the Honor Guard, Southlake Police Sergeant Kevin Diehl. The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Honor Guard then performed the rifle volley, a 21-gun salute to our veterans. The patriotic ceremony concluded with a bagpipe performance of Amazing Grace by Robert McCallion, of the Southlake Fire Department.
This year’s event brought out some amazing food vendors including returning favorites Fletcher Corny Dogs and Funnel Cakes, Kona Ice, Dippin Dots, Ssahm BBQ Tacos, and Feedstore BBQ. New flavors included Nothing Bundt Cakes, Epic Cones, HipPOPs, Jack’s Chow Hound, and Very Individual Pizza. Atendees couldn’t have asked for a tastier variety to celebrate the holiday.
The highlight of evening, was an unforgettable fireworks display; the twenty minute show was accompanied by an up-lifting patriotic soundtrack. It was an evening to remember as family and friends celebrated Independence Day with the City of Southlake.
Thank you @CityofSouthlake for another amazing Stars & Stripes celebration! Memories to last 4ever & our 1st as residents of this gr8 town.
— Allyson D. (@HBMomof2) July 4, 2015
— David Faltys (@faltysd) July 4, 2015
Want to be part of the tradition next year for the 18th annual Southlake Stars & Stripes event? Please contact the Southlake Community Services Department at 817-748-8611. A special thanks goes out to Verizon Wireless, the 2015 Stars & Stripes Title sponsor. The City also thanks all of the other 2015 event sponsors including; All-Star Orthopaedics, Brain Balance, Brio, Children’s Health, The Goddard School, Park Place Mercedes Benz, Silverado, Sleep Number, SpringFree Trampoline, Sweet and Sassy, TasteBuds Kitchen, Texas Health, The Fresh Market, and Home Depot.
On this special day we give thanks to all of our Veterans who have bravely served
our country to protect us.
Many of Southlake’s finest, our Firefighters and Police Officers, and civilian employees
are Veterans who served our country before becoming a first responder or employee for the city.
Remember to thank a vet today and remember freedom is never free.