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What were their names? Memorial Day event intones names of local war dead
Brief outdoor observance draws about 40 participants
memorial day 2021
With the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard standing at attention, Bob Marsh, left, salutes after performing the roll call of Bulloch County residents who died in the line of duty during WWI at Monday's community Memorial Day service at the Bulloch County Judicial Annex. The names of all the Bulloch County fallen were intoned during the short open-air ceremony.
Remembering Bulloch County residents who died in wartime service

World War I

Dexter Allen, William Baker, Brooks Beasley, Lawson Bell, Willie Brannen, George Guy Burgess, Ernest Cannon Carswell Deal, Edwin DeLoach, George Falagan, Cephas Feelings, Herbert Folsom, Paul R. Groover, Neal H. Hagan, Jesse Lewis, Clarence Lyons, Blitch Parrish, Solomon Raymond, Thomas Raymond, Walter Sanders, John M. Sheffield, Louis O. Stanford, James Stewart, Claude B. Terry, Homer Van Buren Warnock and James W. Williams.


World War II

European Area of Conflict

Albert Allen, John D. Arnett, Inman Beasley, John T. Box, Dan C. Branson Jr., William H. Bryant, James O. Cooper, Erastus Don  Ellis, Olice R. Evans, James H. Futch Jr., Thomas Hendley, James M. Hendrix, Herman Lavonne Hodges, William G. Holloway, Charles Hunnicutt, James Alvin Lanier, Jemison B. Lynn, Leonard E. Mincey, Cecil Morris, R. Earl Newton, Gerald B. Newton, George W. Oglesby, Austin K. Pennington, Jackie (Jake) Pennington, Berton H. Ramsey Jr., Troy J. Reddick, Barney W. Shelnutt, J.I. Shurling, Erastus D. Sills, Rufus A. Small, Rufus B. Stephens, Clifton Summerlin, James Walter Swint, Charles T. Thorton, Cecil Turner, Charles D. Wall, William D. Ward, Roland D. Warnock, Floyd B. Waters, Jack B. White, Ellis E. Williams, Hardy Talmadge Womack, John Gilbert Woodward and Frank R. Zetterower Jr.


Pacific Area of Conflict

James V. Anderson, Alfred C. Barnes, John C. Buie Jr., Barney J. Chester, Leroy Cowart Jr., John F. Darley Jr., Pierce Darwin DeLoach, Kelly Bruce Dickerson, Clyde Thomas Dixon, Bill M. Gerrald, Carl L. Gordy, F. Glen Hodges, Arthur J. Howell, Archie Redell Martin, Charles T. Martin, Carrol Minick, Earnest J. Poindexter Jr., Rupert R. Riggs, Jack L. Suddath and Albert A. Ward. ((45-64???)))


Korean War

Larry B. Akins, David Chance, James A. Hunnicutt, Charles H. Lord Jr., George D. Tillman and Thomas Crosby.


Vietnam War

James R. Brannen, Hubert F. Brinson, Lenard Coleman, Jessie W. Conner, David L. DeLoach, Luther M. Jones, Michael T. Row.


Afghanistan and Iraq Wars

Mathew Gibbs, Charles H. Warren, Dennis P. Merck, Jerry L. Ganey, Brock H. Chavers, Isaac L. Johnson, Thomas Lee Moore, Judd Brinson and Chester J. McBride III.

A light breeze kept the flags fluttering as about 40 people gathered for the Memorial Day 2021 service intoning of the names of Bulloch County’s military service people who died in conflicts from World War I to the present.

American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 hosted Monday’s observance in the open air, since at the time of planning pandemic concerns still prevented the traditional program inside the Emma Kelly Theater. Instead, the location was in front of the Bulloch County Judicial Annex where stands the American Legion monument “Dedicated to the Memory of the Veterans of All Wars.”

"This day is sacred with the almost visible presence of those who have gone before us,” said Post 90 Commander Marvin Grimm. “We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of our country. … May the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence for departed friends and comrades. Let us renew our pledge of loyalty to our country and its flag. Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism.”

Grimm is a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he served as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman assigned to treat Marines wounded in ground combat. Twice wounded himself, he was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Navy Achievement Medal.

“The real unsung heroes were family members,” Grimm said before the service. “You know, they give up a lot emotionally to allow their loved ones to go, not knowing when they’re coming back.”


The first named

When Bob Marsh recited the names of 26 Bulloch County citizens who died on duty in World War I, the first  name was  “Dexter Allen.” The American Legion post is named for the first soldier from Bulloch County killed in action in World War I , which lasted from 1914 to 1918, with the United States directly involved from April 1917 until the armistice of November 1918.

Marsh, a Vietnam era Navy veteran, also intoned the names of 64 known Bulloch County military service members who died on duty in World War II, 1941-1945, and of six who died during the Korean War, 1950-1953.  He, like the other readers, paused to literally salute those whose names he read.

 “I think it’s really important that we keep track of who’s defending us,” Marsh said before the service.  “Freedom isn’t free. It takes some effort, and we should also honor the people that are in our military now, and I think we do, pretty much.”

Randy Brigman, who recited the names of Bulloch County’s service members who died in the Vietnam War, first noted the names of two soldiers from other parts of the country who died that conflict.

“Two of my friends were killed that were really close, and so I always remember them along with the guys that were killed from here in Bulloch County,” he said before the ceremony. “I remember them and I call their names as well. I sort of choke up, but I’ll get through it.”

Having volunteered to go, Brigman was with U.S. Army Advisor Teams 26, Team 8, in Vietnam in 1964-65, when U.S. involvement in that long war was still escalating from an officially advisory role to full intervention. The friends he remembers, PFC Peter Matthew Feierabend and PFC John Francis Shea, died in February and March 1964, serving with Military Police units.

Originally from North Carolina, Brigman remained in the Army for a full career, retiring out of Fort Stewart in 1978 and becoming a Bulloch County resident.


Suggests classwork

Another retired career soldier, William Adams, intoned the names of nine Bulloch County citizen warriors who died in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Adams is an Army veteran of both conflicts.

“As memory  fades, there’s a lot of people who don’t remember the folks that passed, and it’s important that people know  what  these people’s names were, and maybe they’ll take the time one day to look up who they were and the lives that they lived and  what  they  sacrificed,” he said before  the  ceremony.

This could also be a good class assignment for students in school, Adams suggested.

The simple service consisted of the posting of the American and Georgia flags by Bulloch County Sheriff’s Honor Guard members Deputy Aneshia Best Hill, Sgt. Andy Nay and Capt. Kenneth Thompson, the placement of a wreath by American Legion members and the intoning of names and some prayers.

Lonnie Ellis, American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 commander-elect, said one of the prayers. He is slated to be installed in that office next month as Grimm steps down after a three-year tenure.

“Every year, every day we have a chance to thank those veterans  who served, to thank them for their service, but  today we set aside  to truly honor  those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Ellis said before the ceremony. “This is what this day is about.”

Friday, American Legion member veterans, assisted by some local Boy Scouts and their family members, had placed small U.S. flags at the graves of more than 2,500 veterans in almost 40 cemeteries across Bulloch County, plus wreaths at two other downtown Statesboro monuments.

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