Veterans honored for service

Published 8:50 pm Sunday, November 12, 2017

The West Georgia Veterans Council held its Veterans Day Ceremony at the Troup County Veterans Memorial outside the Troup County Government Center Saturday morning. The event brought together current, former and retired service men and women from all the branches of the military to recognize those who have served and are currently serving.

Members of Troup High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC assisted with the event and handed out poppy pins and decorations. The poppy is used to remember those who have died in war.

Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Claudia Turner reminded the audience of the importance of Veterans Day to Americans.

“The significance of Veterans Day being celebrated on the eleventh is that on the eleventh hour on the eleventh month on 1918 the guns for both victors and vanquished fell silent and the war to end all wars fell into history. For the next 20 years, Armistice Day was observed to honor and remember more than 100,000 Americans who perished freeing the world from [terror],” Turner said. “Today we celebrate Veterans Day, a day that honors not just the heroes of World War I, but the tens of thousands of men and women who have served our nation during times of war and times of peace.”

Turner said veterans of the past and present have a lot in common, including the character that makes them join the military.

“Those who’ve died, those who’ve never returned and those who are still blessed to be here with us today, they’re sacrifice and service from the gas-filled war trenches of World War I to the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq chronicle much of our history of the past century and the new one that’s just begun. Yet, while the technology of war has changed considerably over the intervening years, Americas most valuable military asset has remained the same,” she said.

While all veterans have different reasons for joining the military, Turner said their service is enough for what they have done for the United States.

“In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter why we chose to serve. Ir was simply the fact that we choose to serve,” she said.

“Right now, while we’re gathered here the U.S. Navy patrols the water on Navy ships, soldiers and marines are preparing to go out on combat patrols, airmen are [figuring] out our airspace to see who could potentially do us harm. Yes, these are veterans who do not become legends, but eave legacies. Legacies of self-reservice, legacies of sacrifice, legacies of integrity, legacies of personal courage, legacies of duty, legacies of honor and legacies of personal responsibility.”

Retired U.S. Marine Johnny Griggs was honored at the ceremony as veteran of the year. Mike Hudson Jr., vice commander of the 3rd Division Georgia American Legion Post, said Griggs was honored for his services with being a judge advocate, a member of the disabled veterans group, playing a role in Toys-for Tots and a bugle player among other positions and roles he has filled.

“I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it today because he was doing a hospital visit right before we met, and he did make it here so we’re proud of that,” Hudson said.

After the benediction, Griggs performed ‘Taps’ to end of the ceremony.