Gerald Lynn Counts passed away Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in Bridgeport. Funeral: 10 a.m. Tuesday at Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Chapel. Gerald was born April 13, 1924, in Wise County to Lawrence Earl and Mattie Lorene. Gerald graduated from the high school in Perrin and then enrolled in Texas A&M University
. Shortly afterward he withdrew and joined the Army
. He was in the 1st Division, 506 Regiment, C Company,101st Airborne. He jumped in Normandy, Holland, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. On Dec. 20, 1944, the Germans launched an attack that led to the capture of the Medical Company, all of the surgical teams, as well as all of the wounded. The Medical Company was located in Western Bastogne. Gerald Counts was among those who were captured. He was a prisoner with about 1,200 other prisoners in the barracks at Limburg. He was held prisoner for around six months. Gerald Counts does not have the uniform he wore during the war because it was burned in Belgium when he was released by the British. He still has his many decorations. Gerald was awarded two Bronze Stars
(one for his jump into Normandy and one for his jump into Holland), a Purple Heart
, a Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Medal for Prisoners of War and his various campaign medals. Gerald lived a full and enjoyable life on his own terms. He was a highway patrolman in El Paso, a chef, worked for the railroad and worked at Lockheed Martin. He also had an entrepreneurial spirit; he owned grocery stores and other businesses. Gerald was preceded in death by his wife, Marueen Counts; parents; and a granddaughter Renee Gillum. Survivors: Gerald leaves behind daughters, Donny and husband, Tom, Gillum, Carolyn and husband, Ted Gillum; 10 grandchildren; sister, Joy Counts; brother, Pat and wife, LaRue Counts; along with numerous nieces and nephews.