FLORENCE — Retired Lt. Col. Joe Hinds, USAF, a 1965 graduate of Franklin County High School, is honoring his father, Charles F. Hinds, at a presentation he is making as part of the Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. at Colonial Heights in Florence.
Charles, a former state librarian who retired in Frankfort after serving seven governors, died on Aug. 14 and was buried in the Frankfort Cemetery. He also served in the U.S. Army, during WWII, primarily under General Patton, serving in combat for almost 1,000 days. He served in seven campaigns and was the only member of his original unit who survived the war.
Joe, who retired in Florence, served in four military services for over four decades. During Vietnam, as a second lieutenant, he received the George Washington Honor Medal. In his last assignment, he worked with NCIS in fraud investigations around the world, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
He worked in the NCIS building shown on the television series. He said that his job was not as exciting as that of Gibbs or Tony, but he was glad that he was never called “probie.”
Joe’s emphasis on protection of the environment earned him the name of “Environmental Protector” by all branches of the military.Joe focused on local interests, knowing that this offered the best opportunity for improving the environment. He knew that local citizens, politicians and regulators would work harder and more efficiently to eliminate pollution in their backyards.
As an environmental attorney, he advocated protecting local environments. Joe took matters to the lowest level, which usually meant a city or county. He knew that local politicians had a vested interest in making their neighborhoods environmentally safe because their families and friends lived there.
He labeled this effort “PIMBY” or "Politics in my back yard.” He was active with local political environmental groups to clean up city and county back yards, leading to eventual state and national EPA support.
Joe’s wife, Deanna, and his mother, Doris, all live in Florence. His son, John, is a supervising agent for the Secret Service in Washington D.C.