John A. Gregory III, 61, has lived in Harker Heights for 15 years. Retired from the military, he has been a foster parent to 29 children.
Where are you from?
Detroit, Mich. I grew up just a few blocks from Hitsville U.S.A. — Motown. My father was a pharmacist and my mother was a middle school teacher in the inner city of Detroit.
What is your first memory?
Moving into a new house in Detroit. I was really excited because my little sister finally had a place to play by herself. I was age 4 at the time.
Tell me about your family.
I have three biological kids and two adopted kids. I have been married for 32 years to Laura Gregory, a librarian at Ellison High School in Killeen and at Central Texas College. My children are now aged 40, 30, 25, 21 and 19. I have had a total of 29 foster kids throughout the years.
What made you decide to be a foster parent?
I always liked kids. When I was little my mom used to bring kids home all the time. Back in the day, when something was going wrong in one of the kids’ homes, instead of them going to the social worker they stayed in our home for a few weeks.
Are you involved in the community?
I currently volunteer with Shade Tree Mechanics. I am the robotics mentor for the Robotics Team. I have volunteered with Killeen Independent School District since 1993, doing robotics and reading to the elementary children. I volunteer with the sports program at the Boys & Girls Club of Central Texas.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
The best advice was from my dad, to go to college and graduate because someday you might want to be the boss.
Do you believe a picture is worth a thousand words?
It used to be a thousand words until Photoshop. When I was younger, a picture was worth a thousand words. I personally like the black and white photos. I feel they are more personal, they have more feeling and emotion with these types of photos.