Many of you are familiar with funerals featuring military honors,but you may not know why it is done, who is eligible for these honors, how to request this service, who provides this service, how much it costs, and what the ceremony entails.

The Department of Defense defines military funeral honors as “the ceremonial paying of respect and the final demonstration of the country’s gratitude tothose who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our Nation.”

Deceased veterans who are eligible for military honors include:

• Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
• Former military members who served on active duty and departed under conditions other than dishonorable.
• Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under conditions other than dishonorable.
• Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.

Honors are not performed automatically; families ofeligible veterans mustrequest funeral honors through their funeral director, who will contact the appropriate organization.The family must produce the veteran’s DD214 or similar separation/discharge document proving that the veteran is eligible for the honor. Because funerals are stressful for families, if you are a veteran and plan on receiving a military burial, please inform your spouse, children, or other survivors of your intentions. Have your documentation ready in advance and in a safe, easily-accessible place.

In our area, military funeral honors are provided by the Limestone Veterans Burial Detail. This service is provided by the detail free of charge to the families of eligible veterans.Local funeral homes will contact the detail after receiving proof of eligibility and request for the service. The burial detail will typically travel to funerals within a 100-mile radius of Limestone County.

The military ceremony traditionallyincludes – three volleys of shots fired in honor of the deceased veteran, the playing of Taps, andthe folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin. Each part of the ceremony is reminiscent of military customs and rituals.

The firing of three volleys comes from traditional battle ceasefires where each side would take time to clear the dead from the battlefield. The shots indicated that the dead were cleared and properly cared for.This began the custom of firing three volleys over the grave of fallen comrades.

The playing of Taps originally was composed for the military to signal “lights out” at day’s end. The somber tune became a tradition at military funerals to honor the extinguishing of a life.

The American flag is draped over the closed casket with the blue field of stars over the left shoulder. At the proper moment, the flag is removed, then folded with 13 folds until it is the shape of a triangle with only the field of blue showing, and then respectfully handed to the next of kin.

The Limestone Veterans Burial Detailwas formed in the 1990s and has provided services for thousands of local veterans since then. There are times when the group has had a funeral a day for a week, other times two or three a day,or periods of a week or two with no funerals.

Usually, eleven members are needed for a funeral. Over the years, members have moved away, become physically incapacitated, or, sadly, passed away. New members are welcomed to join. You do not have to be a veteran, just a patriotic American who is physically able to perform the necessary duties, has the time to commit, and is willing to serve when called.

While there is no charge for burial detail services, the group does have expenses which are only paid for by your tax-free donations. Some expenses include the purchase of uniforms, weapons upkeep, ammunition, and travel. Anyone may make a tax-free donation to the burial detailby depositing into their account at Regions Bank or by check to Limestone Veterans Burial Detail, 18188 Mooresville Rd., Athens, AL 35613.

Despite the searing heat of summer, the biting cold of winter, or the deluge of a rainstorm, the members of the Limestone Veterans Burial Detail are there to honor those who bravely served our country and proudly pay their respect to those heroes and their families.
By: Yvonne Dempsey
Limestone Veterans Burial Detail member and Alabama Veterans Museum volunteer

March is celebrated as National Women’s History Month in thousands of communities and military bases throughout the world. This celebration, designated by joint resolutions of the House and Senate and proclamations by six American presidents, is an opportunity to honor and celebrate women’s historic achievements. The stories of women’s achievements are integral to the fabric of our history. Learning about women’s tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries is a tremendous source of strength. Knowing women’s stories provides essential role models for everyone. And role models are genuinely needed to face the extraordinary changes and unrelenting challenges of the 21st century.

As the country celebrates nationally, locally we will be celebrating our female veterans. The 2017 theme for National Women’s History Month – “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” – honors women who have successfully challenged the role of women in both business and the paid labor force. Women have always worked, but often their work has been undervalued and unpaid. I can think of no one more deserving to be recognized for her service in both the United States Army Reserve and also in the civilian sector than Major General Paulette Risher!

Paulette Risher is twice retired, once as an Organizational Psychologist with the United States Air Force Research Laboratory and once as a Major General (2-Star) in the United States Army Reserve. With 34 years of active and reserve service, Paulette was the first woman to command an Army Special Operations unit as a flag-officer. When she returned to active duty in 2002, she served as the President of the Joint Special Operations University. Upon leaving active duty, Paulette joined Booz Allen Hamilton and led their Organization, Strategy, and Learning team in Huntsville for three years. Additionally, Paulette served as the Principal Director for Huntsville Operations for DigiFlight, Inc.

Today, Paulette serves as the Program Director for Veteran Employment Services with Still Serving Veterans (SSV), a Huntsville-based non-profit dedicated to helping Veterans and their families successfully transition and integrate into the community and civilian work. Paulette’s primary focus is on assisting veterans in finding meaningful work and assisting employers in welcoming and retaining veterans as valued members of their workforce. Paulette also manages a generous grant from the Call of Duty Endowment.

Paulette holds Master’s Degrees in Psychology and Education. She is also a certified web designer and True Colors Facilitator/Trainer. Paulette is a member of the Women’s Economic Development Council (WEDC), the Association of the United States Army, the Association for Talent Development, the National Career Development Association, and the National Defense Industrial Association. She is also a member of Women in Defense and was awarded their national 2015 Service to the Flag Award. Paulette serves as the Employment Committee Co-Chair of the Alabama Veterans Network (AlaVetNet), a Governor’s Commission challenged with building public-private partnerships to meet the needs of Alabama’s large veteran population. She also serves on the Alabama Small Business Advisory Commission and is an alumna of Leadership Huntsville
By: Sandra Thompson – Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

Meet Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4) Anthony Lindner. Anthony was born in Esslingen, Germany in 1947. His father, an American soldier who was part of the Normandy invasion, decided to stay in Germany after he was released from the military; he worked for one of the first Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES.) Unfortunately, his father passed away shortly after Anthony was born, and he went to live with his grandparents until the age of 11 when his mother remarried. They then came to the United States and moved to North Carolina. Anthony became a US citizen at the age of 18, after graduating high school.

Always looking for adventure, Anthony had dreams of being a Green Beret, so he decided to join the Army. After attending basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) at Ft. Gordon, GA, he went to jump school at Ft. Benning, GA. Once this was completed he applied for and was accepted to the Green Beret program. As a Green Beret, Anthony was a radio operator on an A Team. His first assignment was with the 8th Special Forces Group.

Anthony considers himself among the lucky because he was assigned to the Panama Canal Zone instead of the Vietnam. Seeking more excitement, as if being a Green Beret was not challenging enough, after reenlistment Anthony decided to earn his wings. He went to flight school at Ft. Wolters, TX, and finished his aviation training at Ft. Rucker, AL. He was now qualified to fly the TH55, TH13 and UH1 helicopters. His other assignments include Ft. Riley, KS; Ft. Sam Houston, TX; Germany; and Ft. Campbell, KY. He also completed a tour in the Republic of Vietnam.

Anthony’s most memorable experiences include night combat jumps in the jungles of Panama and flying medevac missions in the Republic of Vietnam. These were the most memorable because of the adventure and the opportunity to save lives in Vietnam.

After serving twenty years in the Army, Anthony retired in 1987 and began a second career as a commercial airline pilot. He flew as a pilot on an EMB120 Brazilia, a Delta Commuter for Atlantic Southeast Airlines and then as first officer in a Boeing 757 for Eastern Airlines. He then went on to have a third career as an insurance agent for Farmers Insurance for about 13 years. He finally retired for good in 2008.

Anthony is a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) Chapter 511, and he is also active in the North Alabama Helicopter Pilots Association (NAHPA.) As part of the NAHPA, he strives to meet the mission of the organization to enhance and accredit the cohesiveness, esprit de corps, and traditions of valor of rotary wing aircrews that flew in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era.

Anthony has 3 children – two sons, Mario and Jacob, and a daughter, Sue. He enjoys volunteering at the museum because of the camaraderie between the veterans.
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

Teddy was born in Lawrence County, AL in March of 1946, and he grew up in Hatton. While working at Sears in 1968, he received his draft notice into the United States Army on April 10. After attending basic training at Ft. Benning, GA, he went to Ft. Pope Louisiana to become a truck driver. His first duty station was at Ft. Lewis, Washington where he was assigned to the 143rd Supply Company in the 6th Army. His primary job was transporting petroleum fuel (JP4 and AVGAS) to various aircraft at Ft. Lewis. His most memorable experiences include being a rifleman on the Army Honor Guard burial detail, in which he would travel all over the east coast performing at funerals for our country’s fallen heroes.

After serving his two year commitment, Teddy separated in 1970 and went into the active reserves. At the same time, he went back to work at Sears and enrolled in Calhoun Community College using his GI Bill. In 1986, he graduated from Athens State University with a degree in Systems Engineering while working for NASA. While at NASA, he held a variety of positions, perhaps the most interesting of them being part of the Space Station Support program. When going into space, everything has to be carried with you, including water. Teddy was part of a program that converted urine and sweat into safe drinking water. Also, when you are in space, each time you reprocess your “water” you lose 4 – 6% of a gallon, so you have to know how many times you can reprocess the fluid.

After retirement from NASA in 2011, Teddy came to the museum to volunteer in January of 2013. Teddy was looking for something to do, and he saw an advertisement for volunteers here at the museum. He decided to come in and see what we were all about. Not too long after Teddy started volunteering, I found myself in need of a part time employee. I noticed his attention to detail and offered him the job, which he happily accepted. Teddy is a wonderful tour guide. We have had a number of guests comment on his professionalism and knowledge. He is also in charge of daily building maintenance and setting up for our monthly coffee call. We certainly would have a hard time doing it without his dedication!

He thinks the community does a wonderful job of recognizing our Veterans, but he will help in any way he can. He would like to see a bigger meeting place for our coffee call, and see more people utilize our library. Teddy is also active in the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA) and the American Veterans (AMVETS.)

Teddy has been married to his lovely wife Patricia for 52 years in June, they have two sons Tarry (who is married to BJ) and Trent (who is married to Rebekah). He has 4 grandchildren: Vance and Ty Dutton, and Hallie and Andrew Hall.
By: Sandra Thompson – Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

Tyre is our newest volunteer at the Alabama Veterans Museum. He was born in LaGrange, Georgia on February 5, 1952 and grew up in Roanoke, Alabama. Tyre attended the University of Alabama through the ROTC program. After college, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the US Army. Tyre says he joined the military to follow in his father’s footsteps and continue his family’s service in the United States military.

During his twenty years in the military, Tyre held many different positions. In 1974, he started out in Fort Knox, Kentucky at the Armor/Cavalry Officer Basic Course. From there he went to Ft Campbell, where he served as Motor Officer, Platoon Leader and Troop XO for the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry with the 101st Airborne Division.

In 1979, Tyre went to Fulda, Germany, as the S3 Air, Cavalry Troop Commander, which he describes as his “most memorable assignment” because “there were only two Armored Cavalry Regiments stationed in Europe and both were stationed along the Iron Curtain. The Armored Cavalry Regiments had real world full-time border security missions as the first line of defense for Europe and NATO facing off against the massive armies of the Soviet Union and WARSAW PAC. The other units of the US Army Europe were stationed behind the two Armored Cavalry Regiments and would been the second units of NATO to engage the Soviet Union and WARSAW PAC armies. As we have said: “We say we went toe to toe, we stayed trained, we stayed ready and strong, but we didn’t blink or flinch and they did and they fell apart. WE WON!”

Tyre returned to the US in 1982 and came back to Alabama as the Alabama National Guard Advisor, 31st Armor Brigade at Redstone Arsenal. After assignments back to Germany and to Ft. Riley, Kansas, he and his family finally returned to Redstone for good in 1994. His final assignment was as Brigade Executive Officer, 5th Brigade, 2nd Region, ROTC Cadet Command.

After retiring at the rank of Major (04), in 1994, Tyre went to work for the University of Alabama where he served as the Assistant Director of Professional Development and Customer Service for the Integrated Science Program. He also served as Director of Special Services and Events which was responsible for events related to fundraising and the president’s office. If that wasn’t enough, he was also the Advisor and Sponsor for Capstone Men and Women, the University’s student ambassador group. He also worked as a Systems Analyst for the Camber Corporation and for SAIC.
Tyre has been volunteering at the museum for about five months now. He enjoys being with other veterans and likes the opportunity to learn more about history at the museum. He would like to see more news media outreach and fundraising to go toward the future expansion of the museum. He would also like to see the museum obtain a M60A3 Tank and a M113 Armored Personal Carrier; he would gladly help with maintenance of these vehicles and with fundraising efforts. While Tyre thinks the community does a lot for our veterans, he thinks a lot more could be done.

Tyre holds an AS in General Science from the Marion Military Institute; a BS in Psychology, with a Minor in Chemistry from the University of Alabama; and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. He has been married to the lovely Susan Haglund Benefield from West Port, Connecticut for 32 years and they reside in Madison.
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

11-18-2016-2-44-28-pmI really can’t believe that it is November already; as usual this has been a very busy month for the Alabama Veterans Museum! As this is the month for thankfulness, I wanted to take this time to say “Thank You” to each and every one of you for your support this year. Without the support of the Limestone County Commission, the City of Athens, the Limestone County Delegation, and of course the community, we could not do what we do to honor our veterans.

I would like to thank my wonderful volunteers; the museum really could not function without them. I hesitate to list them because I am afraid I will leave someone out, but here goes; our faithful volunteers are: Ed Adams, Jerry Barksdale, Johnny Beck, Tyre Benefield, Price Boyd, Anne Crutcher, Mike Criscillis, Yvonne Dempsey, Ralph Green, Anthony Lindner, Sal Ragona, Bill Scheuler, Ewell Smith, Julia Smith, and Jim Watson. We have a sign in our breakroom that I read daily which says “Volunteers are not paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” No statement could be truer! If you would like to join this awesome team, come on down to the museum because we are always looking for new volunteers.

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I would also like to thank Steve Hornberger, who takes care of the office, Teddy Dutton and Ron Thrift, who take care of the building and our visitors. These guys always go the extra mile for me, whether it be getting here at “0 dark thirty” the first Saturday of every month for Coffee Call or setting up for an Elvis show, they work tirelessly. Thank you to our sponsors for Coffee Call; we literally could not do it without them each month.

And last, but certainly not least I want to say a big “Thank you” to my Board of Directors. I would like to give a special shout out to our board president, Jerry Crabtree. I always know I can count on Jerry for support! No matter what crazy event we come up with, he is always there to do the introduction and to work to ensure it is a success! I could not do what I do without the support of each and every one of you!

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Now, a little bit about who we are and why we do what we do every day. The vision of the Alabama Veterans Museum is to keep our military history alive for the education and enjoyment of the public. What makes our museum different and unique is that everything we have has been donated and each piece has a story behind it. We have artifacts from the Revolutionary War until present day. Most of our tour guides are veterans so you get the stories from the people who were actually living it.

The role of our museum is not only to entertain, but to educate. Last year we had over 10,000 visitors, over half of them children. We want to convey the incredible sacrifices and intensity of a world at war. Everyone should learn that our freedom is not free… it was bought by men and women, many of whom paid the supreme sacrifice. Throughout history and even today, ordinary individuals have given their life for this country; we owe these individuals a debt that can never be repaid.
“Thank you for your service.”
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

Elvis Is Coming To Town

10-21-2016-2-14-01-pmOK, Ladies (and Gentlemen!) Get ready…Elvis is coming to town! Join us on Nov 12 at 6:00pm for Michael Dean and Memphis! This show, benefitting the Alabama Veterans Museum in honor of Veterans Day, will be held at the Limestone County Senior Center at 912 W. Pryor Street in Athens.

Michael Dean started out at a young age singing back-up harmony for his family’s gospel group. At a party in 1989, someone mentioned he sounded like Elvis; so he had a few cheap suits made, won a few contests, and as they say, the rest is history. Michael considers himself a tribute artist instead of an impersonator; he feels Elvis is truly one of a kind, and pays tribute to “The King” with every show. Unlike other tribute artists, Michael Dean does not lip sync the words to prerecorded sound tracks. Michael Dean and Memphis put on a live performance every time. One must pay attention to all aspects of the show, including the detailed elaborate costumes, the movements, and of course his voice to truly appreciate the show. Michael has played in Branson as well as performed with Percy Sledge, The Platters, The Stamps Quartet and many other great entertainers.

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What started out as Michael’s wife Gayle and one other singer providing backup for his “Tribute to Elvis” show in 1998, has now turned into a full back-up group. In addition to Gayle Dean Root, the group includes Michele Bradford, Van Stisher and Doug “J.D.” Moss, all on vocals. Dennis Thrasher is the Sound Technician and Ricky Bartlett does the lighting. A night with Memphis can include Gayle Dean performing hits from stars such as Patsy Cline, Connie Francis or Brenda Lee, while Michele’s taste leans towards Reba McEntire and Martina McBride. Van brings classic country with hits from Linda Ronstadt, Loretta Lynn and Tanya Tucker. The bass singer in the group, J.D., brings tunes from Jim Reeves and Brooks Benton, while Michael performs hits from The Rolling Stones, Bob Seger, Jimmy Buffet, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. With such a wide variety of talent, they can provide a concert style show or a more laid back atmosphere for dances and special events.

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Elvis Aaron Presley, who was born on January 8, 1935, went from a small-town boy in Tupelo, MS to a music legend whose impact has carried on long after his death. Elvis was also a veteran. He was drafted on January 8, 1957 and went to Ft. Hood for Basic Training; there he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division’s “Hell on Wheels” unit. Later, Elvis was assigned to the 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division and stationed in Germany. Elvis was promoted to E-5 in 1960 and after finishing his assignment in Germany in March of that year, he was honorably discharged from active duty on March 5, 1960. Elvis was afraid that his time in the military would have a negative effect on his music career, but as we all know, he need not have worried because he is still the “King of Rock & Roll!”

Contact the Veterans Museum at 256-771-7578 for tickets which are $15.00 in advance or $20.00 at the door! Tickets are limited, get yours today!
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veteran’s Museum

9-16-2016-9-24-35-amI am sure that when Billy Duncan started “Coffee Call” he never imagined it would turn into one of the best events the museum would host. I think sometimes because we are so close to it we forget what a special gathering it truly is. I guess it takes an outsider’s point of view to bring it back home. The museum received this very special letter last week pertaining to coffee call, it was so touching that I just had to share it with everyone. Thank you all for your continued support of the museum and for your outstanding support of our monthly Coffee Call because we could not do it without our sponsors and all of the awesome people that attend monthly! Here is the letter in its entirety.

Several weeks ago my old friend and fellow worker in the military forces extended me an invitation to attend “Coffee Call”. Retired Alabama State CSM Cecil D. Monk and I have known each other since He was a Sergeant First Class and I was a Private in 1967. I went to work for Him in the COMMO Section of the HHC 1343d Engineer Battalion (Cbt), later in the S3, and finally in the Maintenance Section of the same unit.

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Coffee Call is held the first Saturday of each month at the Veterans Museum in Athens, Alabama. It is sponsored by individuals and groups of the community to honor individuals who have been members of the United States Armed Forces. The event includes breakfast served “chow Line” style; the entire community is invited to attend, no charge, donations appreciated. Until CSM Monk mentioned it I wasn’t aware such an event takes place. I accepted the invitation. This month’s Coffee Call was sponsored by Kristi Valls and CSM Monk.

While I have not attended a Coffee Call I have visited the museum. It is a wonderful place, filled with hundreds if not thousands of items used by our Armed Forces Members over the last century. It is also a place dedicated to the members of the community and our nation who worked as members of our Armed Forces. Many of whom have labored so long and hard that we enjoy the freedom and liberty of this great country.

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For a small town such as Athens on a holiday weekend the event was well attended. There were 130+ folks joining in fellowship and remembrance. A son of my father’s first cousin who is lifelong resident of Athens, Jerry Crabtree, is President of the Museum and brought the Call to Order. As the National Anthem played Jerry lead us in the presentation of the Flag. After the Anthem finished, Taps was played to honor our deceased comrades. Then Jerry invited the Chaplin to offer prayer which He did. Jerry then announced it time to “fall in” to the chow line and enjoy a breakfast of sausage, biscuits, gravy, grits, assorted sweet rolls, OJ, and of course coffee. The meal was tasty, and the fellowship of seeing old friends was very nice.

It was a very humbling experience to rise, come to attention and render a hand salute as the Anthem played and the Flag was presented, Taps honored our recent and long dead comrades to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude. What an honor to stand among men and women of all stripes and pay homage, honor, and respect to our country and each other. I looked out over that crowed and saw people of our community who get up every morning, go to work, contribute to improve and sustain their community, set positive moral examples for our youth, love and care for their parents, wives, husbands, children, and the way of life we enjoy. Many of whom have done so by membership in our Nations Armed Forces. Yes, that group was just a small slice of Americana: just plain, old, ordinary, everyday, garden variety Americans. So, what is so special about them? EVERYTHING!

Thank you again, and please join us the first Saturday of each month for a little food and lots of fellowship!
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

8-19-2016 8-58-45 AMAs many of you are well aware, the misspelling of Vietnam on the Monument has been a source of contention for some time now, however thanks to our generous community this will soon be remedied. This time we want to make sure that it is correct, I have been doing some research and have put together a list of names that either are on the monument and should not be, are not on the monument but really should be, and a couple I am still trying to find information about. The following is what I have put together from several different sources, if you have any information about the following individuals it would be greatly appreciated, we just want to make sure we honor our heroes properly.

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Once again, if you have information on any of the individuals above that could help, it would be appreciated. If you know of anyone who is not listed here but should be, please let me know that also. Contact me at the Veteran’s Museum, 256-771-7578.
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum

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7-16-2016 9-49-57 AM“Honoring our fallen heroes, that’s what it is all about.” That was the answer I received when I asked Bobby (Skip) Ferguson why he wanted to put two monuments on the Courthouse Square to show the names of three local heroes who were killed while serving our country. Although all three are together in a display at the Alabama Veterans Museum, we need to do more to publicly honor them. We already have monuments and statues honoring our troops back to the Civil War, and I think it is time we honor this generation. The three individuals are U.S. Marine Capt William E. Winters, Marine Cpl Adam Loggins, and Army PFC Ricky Turner.

In what was the deadliest attack against the U.S. Marines since the battle of Iwo Jima, U.S. Marine Capt William E. Winters made the ultimate sacrifice. While on a “peace keeping mission” in Beirut, Lebanon, Capt Winters was among the 241 American troops who lost their life that day. At 6:22 am on October 23, 1983, a truck carrying 2000 pounds of explosives drove into the Marine compound in Beirut, Lebanon, and crashed into the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regimental Battalion Landing Team barracks. The bombing was traced to Hezbollah, a militant and political group that originated in Lebanon in 1982. The FBI called it the largest non-nuclear bomb in history. Capt Winter was posthumously promoted to Major. “We must keep their memories alive. These men made a great sacrifice for peace, but so did their families,” said his daughter Amanda Moore.

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U.S. Marine Lance Cpl Adam Loggins wanted to look back at his life and feel like he had done something. He always wanted to join the Marines; although his family tried to talk him out of it, after 9/11 there was no stopping him. Adam was killed by sniper fire on April 26, 2007, while conducting combat operations in the Anbar province of Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Army PFC Ricky L. Turner died January 16, 2009, while serving in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. PFC Turner was in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his patrol unit; he died of wounds sustained during this attack. He was assigned to the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. “Ricky wanted to join the military and stand up for his country, and he died doing what he wanted to do,” said his father, James Lee Turner.

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Maj Winter will be on one monument titled, “Beirut, Lebanon.” Cpl Loggins and PFC Turner will share the other one, which will be named “Iraq/Afghanistan.” We pray that we never have to add another name on the monument; however, we need to leave some additional space because the war in the Middle East is not over.

Donations to help fund this project may be made by contacting Skip Ferguson at 256-529-5907 or email fergskip@mediacombb.com. Donations can also be made to the Kenny Black Detachment of the Marine Corps League at PO Box 1216, Athens AL 35612, and at the Alabama Veterans Museum. Please denote “Monument Fund” on the donation. Look for future fundraisers to raise the monies to fund this project. The cost is estimated to be $800-1,000.
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum