Meeks, Florian, Jr.(born: 1922 - died: 2014)
Florian Meeks, Jr. was born in Owenton, KY, the son of Florian Sr. and Martha L. Meeks. The family of six lived on E. Adair Street, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Florian Jr. was educated in a one room school house in Owen County and attended high school at Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville, KY. In 1943 he became a member of one of the first platoons of African American Marines at Montford Point, a segregated basic training facility at Camp Lejeune, NC, for African Americans. The facility had been established after President Roosevelt signed a directive in 1942 that allowed African Americans to be recruited into the U.S. Marine Corps. Meeks served active duty with the Second Casual Company, HQ BN MPC, in World War II in the Pacific Area from 1944 through 1946. He received an Honorable Discharge, and enrolled at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. While at Tuskegee, he returned to Louisville and married Eloise Kline in 1948, and two years later he graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree.
Florian Meeks next enlisted in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of First Lieutenant, Infantry. He served active duty with the 160th Infantry, and the 40th Infantry Division on Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War. Meeks received a Combat Infantry Badge for exemplary performance of duty in ground combat against the enemy. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1957, and began a career with the United States Postal Service. He also founded Meeks Home Improvement and Construction Company. In 2012, Florian Meeks, Jr. and other Montford Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor. Florian Meeks is the father of Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Florian Meeks III, KY House Member Reginald Meeks, Michael Meeks, and Kenneth Meeks. Florian Meeks, Jr. passed away January 13, 2014. This entry was submitted by Michael L. Meeks. For more see HR 149 and SR 153, and House Resolution 2447 (112 United States Congress).