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Editorial: Some gave all

Posted: May 3, 2018 1:40 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2018 1:00 a.m.

As we celebrate our veterans and honor the presence of The Wall That Heals, it is worth bringing attention to 13 of the 58,000 names that bear testament to those who gave the supreme sacrifice during the Vietnam War.

They are:

Sp4 Grover Coleman Bowers, Jr., of Westville. January 11, 1970. Army

Pfc. Michael Lynn Christmas of Camden. May 6, 1969. Army

Pfc. Terry Shavon Hearon of Lugoff. May 12, 1967. Marines

Cpl. Leroy Hopkins Jr. of Camden, Oct. 23, 1967, Army

Sgt. Matthew Hough of Bethune. February 23, 1966. Army

Sp4 John Larry Jeffers of Camden. July 25, 1967. Army

Fn. Eugene Nelson of Lugoff. March 14, 1968. Navy

Wylie Oria Phillips of Kershaw. December 30, 1967. Army

Sp4 Walter A. Samans, Jr., of Camden, July10, 1967, Army

Cpl. Harry Lee Sowell Jr., of Kershaw. April 23, 1968. Army

Sgt. Jack Thomas, Jr. of Camden, Jan. 31, 1966, Army

Pfc. Jerry Whitaker of Camden. May 10, 1968. Marines

Sgt. Daniel Williams III of Camden. February 18, 1968. Army

Those 13 men, three of whom columnist Buster Beckham -- himself a Vietnam veteran -- writes about in his column on page 3, are sons of Kershaw County who gave their lives in the service of our country in Vietnam. They were like anyone else, local boys, somebody’s son, brother, father, husband, sweetheart. They were ordinary young men thrust into extraordinary circumstances. They -- and their families -- have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. So to us, it behooves each and every one of us to take a moment to say “thank you.”

But, while we honor their spirits, we also can honor those who went who are still with us. In fact, everyone should consider turning out at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Wall for a special presentation. Former Capt. Johnny L. Blye, U.S.A.F., will be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, some 45 years late, for his actions in flying B-52 raids over Hanoi in “Operation Linebacker.” These raids would ultimately encourage successful peace negotiations.

And to all who served, in Vietnam and other conflicts, for all who served in war or peace, for all who will serve in upcoming years, we again offer our continuing, heartfelt thanks.


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