Carey Milton Owen
Staff Sergeant, USA
Carey Milton Owen was born on April 24, 1948, the oldest of six children to Carey and Virginia Own. When Carey received his Bachelor of Arts degree, he became the third of four generations in his family to graduate from Auburn University. Carey also continued a history of service to our nation, following his grandfather, who served with the Rainbow Division in Europe in World War I, and his father, who was a Marine in the Pacific Theater in World War II.
Carey served his country from 1968 to 1970 in the United States Army. As a combat medic with the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Infantry of the 101st Airborne Division, he earned the rank of Specialist E-5 while serving in Vietnam. Staff Sergeant E-6 Carey Owen's terminal date of reserve was April 28, 1974.
One of Carey's most notable experiences in Vietnam was his participation as part of "A" company in the final assault on Dong Ap Bia, or Hill 937, also known as "Hamburger Hill." Later, he served in "E" Company, assigned to five-man Recon Teams in the Ashau Valley and the DMZ.
For his Vietnam service, Carey was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal with a "V" device, a second Army Commendation Medal, two Air Medals, the Combat Medical Badge and various campaign ribbons. "A" Company was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for actions on Hamburger Hill.
In a ceremony at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on March 13, 2014, Carey was honored with the distinction of Distinguished Member of the 506th Airborne Veterans, an exclusive membership which included Dick Winters, Buck Compton, and Wild Bill Guarnere, all made famous in the television series "Band of Brothers."
Carey has been employed with East Alabama Medical Center/Lee County Hospital for 44 of his 45 years as an Auburn resident. Before becoming CEO of EAMC-Lanier in Valley, he was a Vice President of EAMC for over 36 years, providing executive leadership for three Assistant Vice Presidents and over 40 operational departments. Carey was also responsible for Strategic Planning at EAMC. On December 31, 2014, he retired from his position as an Executive Vice President with EAMC and as CEO of EAMC Lanier. Even in retirement, he continues as Assistant to the President for Facility Development. As such, he continues responsibilities he has held since 1977 in overseeing all facility and site development including all construction, renovation and real estate.
Carey is a member of the Auburn United Methodist Church, having served as a Youth Sunday School Teacher, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and member of the Administrative Board. He has traveled with missions teams to West Virginia, Louisiana, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, and has worked on local housing revitalization projects. Carey sites his most memorable and rewarding trip as a trip to Israel with his church.
Carey was a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a member of the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Marketing Development, President of the Alabama Society for Hospital Personnel Administrators and was a charter member and President of the Kiwanis Club of Lee County. He has served as a youth baseball, football and basketball coach for many years.
Carey spends much of his free time with his family, including his wife of 45 years, Carol; two children, Courtney and Drew; and five grandchildren, Taylor, Olivia, Nancy Claire and Anna Jane, as well as a Labrador retriever named Gracie. He also enjoys attending Auburn University, Auburn High School, and youth athletic events; reading; hunting; golfing and exercising every morning at the Health Plus Fitness Center.
Carey Owen is a valued member of the Auburn community and has served our nation with distinction. The City of Auburn is proud to honor him as Auburn's 2017 Distinguished Veteran.