Sgt. Theodore Penton was born in Picayune, Mississippi but grew up in Pearl River. He enlisted in the Army and served three tours in Vietnam. He took part in Tet 68 and Tet 69 and was awarded the combat infantry badge, the Bronze Star with Valor, and the Purple Heart for his service with the 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne Divisions. He was a machine gunner and a sniper team leader during his time in Vietnam. He still resides in Pearl River.