Local Volunteers about 60 started building the wall on Nov 7th from 07:30 am to 5:00 pm we finished. Members from our VVA Chapter 1049 Spartanburg Helped provide security at the Wall 24/7 wall was open. We helped set wall up, provided security and then tore wall down Sunday Nov 12 at 2:00 pm. Members from VFW’s, American Legions, Marine Corps League and civilian Volunteers helped at the wall. Members who helped from my Chapter 1049 (first photos are: Larry Miller, Paul DeAngelo, Mike Owensby, Dean Yeargin, and Michael Holcomb.
Machelle Holcomb, a Vietnam Veteran Trauma Nurse and member of Chapter 1049, is honored on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while on Honor Flight to Washington DC, on April 29, 2023
Machelle Holcomb Vietnam Veteran Trauma Nurse on the steps at Lincoln Memorial.
Machelle teamed up with her Guardian next to the Vietnam Memorial Wall
Machelle paying her respects to the "Vietnam Woman's Memorial. In the picture it appears that the stature is leaning towards the flowers to smell them.
It brings back Memories!
Paying her respects to falling nurses and service members.
Rolling thunder and Combats Vets escorted the traveling wall from Florence SC to Market Common as well Horry Country Sheriff's Dept. and MB Police Department.
Chapter 303 had a wreath laying ceremony at SC Vietnam War Memorial Park in Columbia on Memorial Day.
Chapter 1049 held Memorial Day Ceremony at Ducan Park, Spartanburg SC. Mike Owensby helped in reading the names on the Wall.
Don Jenkins, Jay Reynolds, Linda Bernt Caldweld, and Dick Chelchowski members of Chapter 1145 participated in a wreath laying ceremony.
South Carolina State Council President attended Ft. Jackson Celebration Picnic on July 1, 2023. In the Picture is Ft. Jackson Commanding General, Brigadier General Jason E. Kelly with SC State Council President Sam Brick
Happy Birthday to our Great Nation!
Chapter 303 hosted their annual August lasagna luncheon at the American Legion Post #6. After looking at the pictures the food looks good, and it was a great success.
On October 8, 2023, the repatriated remains of Air Force Capt. Freddy Hall were returned to the United States via commercial flight that landed at GSP at 1:30 PM. Capt. Hall was killed on April 12, 1968 in Vietnam when the jet he was flying in as navigator was lost in a thunder storm while returning from a combat mission. The crash site was discovered in a combat-controlled area that at the time was inaccessible. Capt. Hall was declared Missing in Action until Feb 9, 1978, when he was declared killed in action. In March 2012, remains were found in the area of Freddy’s crash and were identified in March of this year as being those of Freddie. Below are the pictures of various veteran’s groups that came out and welcome him home. For additional information of this event see South Carolina State Council President Sam Brick message outlining the history and the South Carolina Chapters who participated in this event. Captain Freddy Hall can now rest in peace, he is home! A special thanks go out to the SC VVA Chapter 523, 828 and 1049 who helped make this event a success.
When we, Vietnam Vets learned just a few weeks ago that Freddie was being repatriated here in South Carolina at the SGP airport for transportation to his hometown in Waynesville, NC, we decided to welcome him home, something that none of us who served in Vietnam ever got. We told our brother veterans from more recent conflicts of the arrival as well as other veteran Service organizations. Our brother and sister vets joined us at the airport yesterday to honor Freddy and his widow. We had over 150 folks many carrying flags lining the roadway out of the airport runway system. About half of those present were motorcycle combat veterans from Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and, of course South Carolina. We wanted to escort the widow and the hearse out of South Carolina and provide the honors we never received. We contacted the airport police and advised what we wanted to do. The police worked with the cyclists to plan the trip. It was great to see them respect each other and work so well with each other.
The airport police and fire service were awesome. They brought in state police and local sheriff’s deputies to help out. Those officers were the most respectful gentlemen you could ever imagine. They addressed the group of cyclists and arranged for the escort. They also arranged for honors by area fire departments as we traversed local communities. The fire folks stood at attention on the side of the road, many with lights and sirens blazing as the group passed by. One fire department had its large fire engine out with high ladder extended and a huge American flag hanging from it. They and your local state police and sheriffs honored not just Capt. Hall and his widow but all us Vietnam Veterans who were escorting the Halls out of South Carolina. They gave us priority when they could. When we entered the busy I 85, we moved to the left lane and local trucks protected us by allowing us to follow in a cavalcade. They backed off in respect. Traffic soon realized what was ongoing with our over 25 vehicles flags flying from many and gave us the way. The police actually encouraged this with its escort. As we travelled on an undivided highway, many vehicles going the opposite direction pulled over in respect and honor for our fallen.
The law enforcement personnel for your Greenville area, the state police who were in charge, the sheriff deputies, and the Airport first responders and police worked with the over 50 motorcyclists and the vehicles involved by honoring Freddie and all us Vietnam Veterans. They made us feel welcomed home.
So thank you Greenville for having such a great law enforcement group who do more than just uphold criminal laws and ordinances. And thanks to the Upstate community who welcomed us home.
South Carolina State Council President Sam Brick Welcoming the veterans Motorcycle Groups.
VVA Roger Merck Chapter 1017 members in attendance happily receive care packages at their November 27, 2023, monthly meeting. Thanks to Operation gratitude. In the photo (L-R front row seated); Graham Singletary, J B Bearden Jr, Thurmond Coward, Jim Bright, (standing L-R) Pete Blackmon, Henry Carithers, James Wilson, Bob Hedden, George Dunagan, E Riley, Harvey Spencer, Don Cox, Norm Olsen, Jimmy Hall, Earl Blakely, Jerry Dyar, Scoot Sheriff, Tom Hennessey, Dave Bertges, Rick Gibson and Rick Falardeau. Our thanks to Flo Riley for making the photo.
Information below is from Operation Gratitude
We are excited to let you know that your Veteran Care Packages are on the way! Each Care Package was assembled by a volunteer wishing to express gratitude for the service and sacrifice of our Veterans. You can track your shipment by going to UPS Ground - https://www.ups.com/track?loc=en_US&requester=ST/ and using your tracking number 1Z4EX7270326912266. We would love to see photos and hear from our incredible recipients! Please feel free to share testimonials or photos by sending them directly to me. If you share photos or videos on your own social media channels, we encourage you to use the hashtag #OperationGratitude so we can enjoy them as well!
Thank you so much for giving Operation Gratitude the opportunity to say thank you to our brave Veterans. We hope that the Care Packages are a reminder of the hundreds of thousands of Operation Gratitude volunteers across the country who appreciate their service.
Should you encounter any issues with your shipment, or have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Michelle Pryor, PMP
Manager of Veteran Programs