Thomasville Armory named for Demopolis native closing

Published 11:11 pm Friday, November 4, 2011

The Alabama National Guard released news this week that it will close 13 of its armories by the conclusion of this fiscal year.

Included in that number is the armory in Linden and the facility in Thomasville, which bears the name of Demopolis’ Jack Kerby.

Kerby played an instrumental role in helping Thomasville procure its facility, which is known as the Blakeney-Kerby National Guard Armory in honor of Kerby and former state legislature member and Thomasville native Harold Blakeney.

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“It was the largest town in Alabama that didn’t have a National Guard Armory. The state bought the property and built the armory. It is still there and still has an active unit there as far as I know,” Kerby said of the Thomasville armory. “This is part of the national administration, I guess, that we are going through right now. I hate to see it close. But I am also aware of the limited amount of pull an old retired person has.”

The closings are set to save the Guard more than $7 million in renovation costs and an estimate of at least $250,000 each year. Other closings include Georgiana, Greenville, Grove Hill, Hartselle, Heflin, Lineville, Millport, Moulton, Ozark, Union Springs and Wetumpka.

“I’d like to see them all stay in operation. But, of course, I am particularly interested in the Linden and Thomasville ones,” Kerby said. “I was in a unit there in Linden for a number of years.”