Veterans at the Library Hold Meetings

The Veterans at the Library met recently for their weekly breakfast and coffee. Chair John Tapley opened the meeting by asking Wayne Cannady to bless the food and then called on Dess Smith III to lead the Pledge to the U.S. Flag. A discussion was held concerning the upcoming Ceremony of the 1-year anniversary, August 26, 2021, honoring the 11 Marines, 1 Navy Corpsman and 1 Army soldier that were killed by an ISIS-K suicide bomber outside the Kabul airport while helping to oversee the humanitarian evacuation mission of thousands of Americans and Afghan allies. This event was held on August 28, 2022, at the Pine Brook Nature Park, corner of Highway 57 and U.S. Highway 80 at 3:00 p.m.

Also discussed was the "Wreaths Across America" project. The main event will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the Swainsboro City Cemetery. After a short ceremony, volunteers will began placing the wreaths on every veteran's grave that was previously marked with a very small U.S. Flag. Public donations are still needed, citizens should contact Sherri Watt at the Franklin Memorial Library at 478-237-7791. Also, the public should contact Sherri with their veterans, name, service, branch and cemetery location in these 4 cemeteries: Swainsboro City Cemetery, First Baptist Cemetery, Early Settlers Cemetery and East Brook Cemetery that are not marked as veterans on their tombstone.

Six new veterans attended the morning meeting: Robert Nobles, Jr. who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1974 through 1980. He was stationed at George Air Force Base in Victorville, CA. Robert attained the rank of E-5 and was an Interior Electrician, Nuclear Disposal person and base Bugler. Henry Thompson who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1975-1979 and the Georgia Air National Guard from 1985-2007, which included TDY's and active duty time in support of Bosnia, Gulf War (Saudi Arabia). Thompson spent 18 months federally activated for Iraqi Freedom, served in Iraq, Uzbekistan, from 2003-2005 and temporarily in Afghanistan, all while a member of the 165th Airlift Wing out of Savannah. Randy Ellison served with the Department of Defense in Iraq and Lebanon from June 2006-February 2008. John Torpy, Sr. served in the U.S. Army and in Vietnam with the 44th IPSD, 25th Infantry Division. Bill Carmichael served in the Georgia Army National Guard as a member of Company A, 878th Combat Engineer Battalion here in Swainsboro from 1971 through 1978. Rufus Youmans served in the U.S. Army and was wounded in Vietnam and received the Purple Heart Medal.

Members of "Squadron 103 of the American Legion" also attended the breakfast to make a donation to the Wreaths Across America. They were Henry Thompson, Commander; Gary Mason, 1st Vice Commander; Chief Randy Ellison, 2nd Vice Commander; Billy Chapman, Chaplain and Richard Claxton, member.

This was the largest group in attendance with 32 attendees. Emory Fennell closed the proceedings with a prayer.



The Veterans at the Library met recently to have their weekly discussion about their on-going project, "Wreaths Across America" which will end for 2022 on December 17, 2022, at 11:00 on Saturday morning. The public should get in touch with Sherri Watt at 478-237-7719 with the name, branch of service, cemetery name and location in the cemetery of your veteran that is not marked on his tombstone in one of the following Cemeteries: Swainsboro City Cemetery, First Baptist Cemetery, Early Settlers Cemetery and the East Brook Cemetery.

Four new veterans attended: John Bussell who served in the U.S. Army from October 1965 through October 1968 and served in Vietnam from May 1967 through May 1968, including the Tet Offensive. While in Vietnam, he served in the A Maintenance Detachment as part of the 1st Brigade, 1st Calvary Division; Jerry Johnson served in the U.S. Navy from 1965 through 1969, USNRTC San Diego, COMCRUDESLANT, Newport, RI attached to USS VOGE DE-1047; USS William R. Rush DD-714 Boston Navy Shipyard; USNAS Jacksonville, FL: Jason Letterman served in the U.S. Army from March 1, 1994, through July 10, 2010. While in the U.S. Army Infantry, he deployed to Iraq on 3 tours and on his last tour he received a Purple Heart for injuries that caused him to be a double amputee; Terry Reynolds served in the U.S. Air Force from June 1967 through June 1973 while serving 2 years at Yahoto Air Force Base, Japan, 1 year at Kimpo Air Force Base, Korea and 1 year at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina.


Chair John Tapley opened the meeting with a prayer from Emory Fennell and Jim Dekle led the group in the Pledge to the U.S. Flag. He then asked everyone to introduce themselves and as well as the 3 new members.

Glenn Briercheck served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1967. He obtained the rank of Captain while serving in Okinawa and Vietnam. Charles "Chuck" Wofford served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967. He obtained the rank of Sp-5 while serving at Fort Rucker, AL, Vietnam and the U.S. Army Medical Center at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC. Allen Mincey served in the U.S. Army, Georgia Army National Guard. He obtained the rank of E-6 while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. After a video about World War II soldier Eddie Hart that was killed 25 days before the war ended, Willie Bush then closed the meeting with a prayer.”

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