Plains Says Goodbye To Three-Star General

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It was a military send-off to a highly-decorated officer Wednesday night in Luzerne County.

A viewing was held for retired Lieutenant General John Yeosock in his hometown of Plains.

Despite being laid to rest as a three-star general, the viewing for Yeosock, 74, was a quiet, family and friends affair.

Yeosock died at his home in Georgia last week however the farewell for the lieutenant general was held in Plains, where he was born and raised.

His brother Michael, who owns the funeral home, said this is the way John would want it.

“He would always say, every time I complemented him, he would say ‘Mike you just have to be at the right place at the right time’,” said Michael Yeosock. “He didn’t really want to take any credit for his accomplishments. He was a very modest person.”

John entered the military life early, attending Valley Forge Military Academy his last two years of high school.

After graduating from Penn State, John went on to spend 33 years in the army, serving in Germany, Vietnam, Korea and across the United States.

His wife Betta spent 51 years with John, moving their family around the world.

“I loved every minute of it. I loved the traveling, as long as the children were happy and took it well, then we were happy,” said Betta. “In fact when we were going to Saudi Arabia he said if that’s going to ruin your lives he said then I won’t go.”

It was during Operation Desert Storm that John returned to Saudi Arabia a second time.

He served as Commanding General of Third Army, overseeing more than 300,000 U.S. and Allied ground forces.

Luzerne County Councilman Stephen Urban was among those serving under Yeosock.

Urban even returned home with Yeosock after the war.

“General Yeosock personally thanked all the soldiers that were on the plane for their service in the Gulf War,” said Urban. “He was an amazing man and I will miss him.”

His family also describes a man whose biggest passion was baseball. His brother said John even had the chance to play for the New York Yankees.

“My dad said to him ‘Well John, at least you know you’ll get paid in the army for a couple years, you can always come back and play baseball’.”

General Yeosock will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on June 8 with full military honors.

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