Melton, a native of Wilcox County, entered the service in1944 at the age of 18 and traveled to Fort McClellan for induction that would begin a 30-year career in the military. During World War II, Melton was a private in Co. K 65th Infantry Division U.S. Army and served in Germany. This qualified him to earn a UDC World War II Cross of Military Service.
During the early 1950’s, Melton served as a First Sergeant, Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division, in Korea. This military service met the UDC requirements for a Korean War Cross of Military Service. In addition, he met the military requirements for a UDC Vietnam Cross of Military Service by serving as a Sergeant Major in Vietnam. He retired September 1974, with rank of Command Sergeant Major.
In addition to all of his own military service in the U.S. Army, the United Daughters of the Confederacy required that Melton be a lineal descendant of a soldier in the Confederate Army. His great-grandfather Dempsey Monroe Powell was a Private in Co. C 17th Regiment Alabama Infantry during the War Between the States.
The bestowal of the three United Daughters of the Confederacy Crosses of Military Service was conducted by the Patrick R. Cleburne Chapter president Lynda Lowery and chapter recorder of military service Jo Howard. Mr. Melton was accompanied to the ceremony by daughter and son-in-law Sandra and James Hobbs as well as family friend Anita Burns, all of Jacksonville.