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Columbia, South Carolina
September 25, 2009     The Columbia Star
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September 25, 2009

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4 - 2 5. 2 0 0 9 Government/eighborhoods T h e C o I u rn b i a S t a r SE PTE M B EIR SC Wounded Warriors share stories Army Sgt.Ramon Guitard, 26, a Purple Heart recipient, enlisted in the Army in ]uly, 2001. He lost his legs in Iraq from a roadside bomb. By Kay Gordon With the upcoming annual Veterans Day, Americans throughout the United States pause to remember and pay tribute to patriots and wounded warriors for their valor and bravery in the line of duty. Every year, the recognition is on or near Nov. 11. The Veterans Day parade in Columbia will be Nov. 11. beginning at 10:50 am in downtown Columbia. The parade route starts at the Laurel and Sumter Street intersection and runs south on Sumter Street to Gervais Street. The parade honors all veterans with a proces- sion of high school marching bands, floats, military vehicles and equipment, military marching installltions, and a fly- over. The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917, with the U.S. military. The Purple Heart differs from other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the honor. He or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific cri- teria. Notable recipients include actors Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Audie Murphy; writers Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Rod Sterling; President John E Kennedy; Sen. ]ohn McCain, U.S. Army General Wesley Clark; Colin Powell; and Sen. John Kerry. The Congressional Medal of Honor is awarded to servicemen and women who distinguish themselves by their gal- lantry in action. There are 95 recipients still living: from Woftd War II, 21; from the Korean War, 15; from Vietnam, 59. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is located in South Carolina. The Medal of Honor Museum is in Mt. Pleasant at Patriot's Point in Charleston Harbor. Retired Army Col. Charles P. Murray. lr., Who lives in Columbia, is one of the 21 World War II Congressional MedM of Honor recipients. Murray was among 35 or 40 heroes who attended an apprecia- tion day at the Rusty Anchor/Lighthouse Marina this summer.. Command Sergeant Major Rico Dottin, stationed at Ft. ]ackson, organized the event for Purple Heart recipients and their families. Lighthouse Marina Manager Stan ]ones offered free boat rides and the facility. The Fort Jackson Sergeant Majors' Association provided food and beverages. "Stan's involvement had a major part in this event," Dottin said. 's soon as I talked to Stan about the event, he was ecstatic about the idea. His past experi- ence in the military (U.S. Marine Corps) gave him an appreciation for the men and women who serve our country." Dottin's duties at Ft. Jackson involve basic training. Currently, he is assigned as a Command Sergeant Major for a basic training battalion. He has served in the Army for 23 years and spent most of his career in the Army stationed at Ft. Bragg. Dottin's idea was to bring together these veterans to share stories. The goal was to have the event before the start of school so that children and grandchildren could join family members and be part of the event. Also, the Command Sergeant Majors of Ft. Jackson wanted to express their nation's gratitude to the men and women who have demonstrated their sacrifices by fighting for our nation's freedom, he said. "There are many men and women who have served our country and have never had the opportunity to tell their sto- ries." he said. "It is quite a humbling expe- rience when you take 10 minutes to listen to their stories. Most of them never chose to join the Armed Services. Many of them were involuntarily told to report to duty and deployed with little or no training." The stories need to be told because "it's so easy for someone who's never served to take it for granted," he said." It's important for folks to know. I know what it's like. My wife and I spent three years apart when I was in Iraq." And tell their stories, they did. Murray, 88, who retired July 31, 1973, after more than 30 years of service, has been married to his wife, Anne, for 67 years. Both their sons served in Viet Nam, and their daughter is married 'to a former sailor. Murray, then a 1st Lieutenant, received his citation for "displaying supreme courage and heroic initiative near Kaysersberg, France, on Dec. 16, 1944, while leading a platoon into enemy territory. He was wounded in eight places that day. There were 200 Germans firing all sorts of weapons. Murray crawled ahead of his platoon, killing 20 Germans, wounding others and disorganized the enemy's ranks. He captured 10 Germans in foxholes. The 11th, threw a grenade at him, causing eight injuries. He refused to retreat to the rear until he knew his men were safe. He was presented the Medal of Honor July 5, 1945, in Saltzberg. The Medal of Honor is "The No. 1 military award - the highest award," he said. Army Sgt.Ramon Guitard, 26, a Purple Heart recipient, enlisted in the Army in July, 2001. He was injured Oct. 9, 2004, in Iraq, while sitting in the front seat of a jeep. A roadside bomb hit him. Guittard lost his legs, was paralyzed on the left side and in a medically induced coma for a time. He also suffered a stroke. He was a patient for a year and a half atWalter Reid Medical Center. "I had a lot of injuries," he said. "They didn't expect me to live. I'm defying it. I'm moving on." Guittard and his wife, Melissa, have three children. He used to run marathons in New York, Florida, Louisiana. Now, he drives, flies, and swims. And he is a moti- vational speaker, talking to church groups, in schools, colleges, and wherever be is invited. "YOu move forward," he said.-"You do the best you can. I wish I were still in the military." He likes to hear the stories of other veterans. "It's history," he said. I enjoy life. I don't have my legs, but I don't want any pity. You can't change yesterday, but you can change tomorrow." Dottin said such stories are powerful and those in attendance gave positive comments. He said another reason for the Retired Col. Charles P. Murray Jr. is one of 21 living WWII Congressional Medal of Honor winners. appreciation day was to facilitate the opportunity to bring together members of the Ft. Iackson community, the Columbia, SC area military retirees, and those who support the nation's heroic men and women. The event also included the Command Sergeants' Majors Association from Ft. ]ackson, who are in the process of making a donation to the Ladies Auxiliary. The auxiliary does many great things for disabled veterans. Dottin said he thinks the event is "going to be unforgettable for those who attended. Listening to the stories of those who have served are part of the reason this is such a remarkable country and will never be forgotten. In the future, I believe this event will happen again, and it will draw a larger crowd." The day Selected for ' the Purple Heart Appreciation Day is not set in stone, Dottin said, and was the first of its kind this year on Lake Murray. "We certainly don't plan for it to be the last," he said. "We support Veterans Day, Patriots Day, and any other day dedi- cated to our nation's veterans. Wounded warriors will always hold i special place in our nation's walls of freedom, attd3/ofl' rill b e able to listen tO the echoes tfiroughout the land. They are exerywhere, and we usually are not looking for them, but on the day that Stan ]ones provided the set- ting for them to come together, the ones who showed their faces were the ones who knew the importance of that event." I00cm't make it easy for the bad guys By Josh Cruse purses close to them at all times range of 20-22 years old. The Forest Acres Neighbor- hood Association met Tuesday, Sep- tember 22. Sergeant Lori Tunllin, with the Forest Acres Police Depart- ment, gave a report on summertime crimes in the Forest Acres neighbor- hood. Tumlin said a trend is starting where items are being stolen out of the lockers at Gold's Gym. She also said the police have suspicions about a white van and a black man between the ages of 45-50 that may be connected with a series of thefts involving lawn equipment. Tumlin said a burglary hap- pened at White Hall drive where an outdoor spare key turned up miss- ing. She suggests to make sure a spare key is well hidden. There was also a purse snatching at Richland Mall. She urged women to keep their while shopping. Sheriff Leon Lott reported that from August 17 to September 17 there was a rash of 14 residential break-ins and one commercial break-in. During one of the attempt- ed break-ins the suspects were scared off by the alarm system in the house. A break in the case came when the suspects attempted anoth- er break-in on Thursday September 17 at a home on North Shore Road. One of the residents was in the house when the suspects attempted to rob the house. She called the police, and they were able to appre- hend one of the suspects at the scene and caught the other later. Currently, police are searching for two other suspects in connection with the rash of break-ins. The two in custody have confessed to the burglaries. All suspects involved are in the age Sheriff Lott said, "We cannot make it easy for bad guys." He said to close garage doors, don't leave valu- ables in vehicles, don't leave purses in shopping carts while shopping and get an alarm system that makes loud noises that draws attention from neighbors. Lastly, Sheriff Lott talked about the importance of calling in anything that may seem suspicious. "Look out for your neighbor. It may not be your house today, but it might be tomor- row." lim Litzinger and Jerry Steven- son with the Columbia Children's Theatre announced some perform- ances occurring at the Theatre in the coming months. "Go, Dog. Go!" is from September 18-27, "Frosty" from November 27-December 6, "Cinderella" from February 12-21, and "]unie B. ]ones" from April 9-18. In accordance with the current economic situation, The Columbia Star is offering a Stimulus k . Package for our readers. Beginning immediately, the price of subscriptions to Columbia's only locally-owned newspaper will be cut drastically to enable everyone to save money and k  receive The Star in their mailbox every week. 7 [-"7 1-year subscription for $25 '] 2-year subscription for $35 V--] 3-year subscription for $45 k A Name Address c, State Zip Phone Columbia Star -X- Nail this form and o,check to: - The Columbia Star. P.O. Box 5955' : ,: Columbia, SC 29250 or call us at (803)771-0219 Rosewood Community Council learns about the Boys and Girls Club By Dsh Cruse The Rosewood Community Council met Thursday September 17. Mary Role, the 8irector of the Boys and Gifts Club announced changes to the club's building. The inside of the building will be painted with paint donated by Olympic Paint; the City of Columbia has offered to pay for the painting. A commercial refrigerator will be installed in the kitchen and the outside lighting will be corrected to increase safety. Two shade trees will be dedi- cated to the Arnold family who began the Boys and Gifts Club in Columbia. Role talked about the programs offered to teenagers such as the keystone program which is similar to student council. Teenagers are helped with the ACT/SAT tests and career choices, whether it be college or another path. All young people participate in the power hour, an hour that is designated for homework. "We're not a babysitting program. We have an after school program with an emphasis on character development," Role says. Rebeccan Munnerlyn announced that the Gills Creek Watershed Association will be conducting another clean up next to Shop Road near the Animal Shelter Sat- urday September 26 from 9 am to 1 pm. Volunteers are encouraged to participate. The next Rosewood Community Council meet- ing will be in October. Zeroinon ,.Web Surfe The S.C. Newspaper Network can now deliver onl!ne advertising on newspaper Web sites across South Carolina at a very competitive rate. And you aren treaching non-customers in Boise. For help plating your online ad, S-(N.NO-  call Jimmie Haynes toll4ree at 1.888-727-7377 , . -= , ,, ,, , ,