"Tell your story" was the message shared with the veterans who received service medals from the State of Missouri during a special ceremony held at the Monett Senior Citizens Center this week.
Colonel Mark McCarter travelled to Monett from Jefferson City to present local veterans with "The Veterans Recognition Award from the State of Missouri." Veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II were honored.
McCarter is the director of strategic plans, policy, joint training and exercises for Joint Forces Headquarters in Missouri. He serves as the primary advisor to the adjutant general and the chief of the joint staff for the Missouri Army National Guard. McCarter has served a total of 24 years in the National Guard, including a one-year tour in Iraq.
"Only 14 percent of our populaton are veterans and veteran dependants," said McCarter. "You have defended our country, and that's the select group we're honoring today.
"The challenge I have for you today is to tell your story," continued McCarter. "The future of our country rests in our youth, and we need to educate the youth about what you've done, what you've endured. Please tell your story and make sure what you fought for is not forgotten."
Others who participated in Monday's ceremony included State Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon, who introduced McCarter and congratulated the veterans, and Sandy Lakin, mother of three military sons and president of the Family Readiness Groups for the Monett and Pierce City National Guard units, who sang "God Bless America".
"None of our freedoms mean anything without the sacrifice made by our veterans and our military personnel and their families," said Goodman. "And most certainly, we honor those soldiers who have served in times of war or conflict. That service never ends."
In addition to Goodman and Lakin's participation in the ceremony, Jamie Lawimore, the 2008 Pierce City American Idol winner, sang the "National Anthem," and Noel George, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene, gave the invocation. The veterans ceremony was organized by Joy Johnson.
A total of 41 veterans received awards for their service and are listed below.
* Vietnam War living veterans: Staff Sergeant Donald Boatright Coyne, United States Air Force; MMCS Kenneth James Gauthier, U.S. Navy; Seaman Ronald William Larkin, U.S. Navy; Equipment Operator First Class Hubert Alan McClain, U.S. Navy; Specialist Fifth Class Roy Leon McManus, U.S. Army; and Specialist Fourth Class Robert E. Green, U.S. Army.
* Vietnam deceased: Captain Robert Joseph Browne, U.S. Air Force.
* Korea living veterans: Corporal Harold R. Francis, U.S. Army; Machinest's Mate Third Class Kenneth J. Gauthier, U.S. Navy; Specialist Third Class William Ned Hall, U.S. Army; Sergeant Lester Eugene Hohensee, U.S Army; Airman First Class David Ira Huffman, U.S. Air Force; Master Sergeant Troy Melvin Kennedy, U.S. Air Force; Equipment Operator first Class Hubert A. McClain, U.S. Navy; Corporal Asa F. Moss, U.S. Army; Corporal Donald Burton Oesau, U.S. Army; Private First Class Theodore Leverne Parrish, U.S. Army; Lieutenant Colonel Floyd C. VanDerhoef, U.S. Army; Staff Sergeant Donald Earl Wheaton, U.S. Army; and Airman First Class Marlin E. Woods, U.S. Air Force.
* Korea deceased: Captain Robert Joseph Browne, U.S. Air Force; Specialist Fifth Class Billy Edward Coatney, U.S. Army; Private First Class Gene A. Courdin, U.S. Army; Staff Sergeant Harry Clifford Nash, Jr., U.S. Army; Third Class Bert Cecil Green, U.S. Navy.
* World War II living veterans: Technician Fourth Class Herman James Martin, U.S. Army; Technician Fifth Class Aurby Thomas, U.S. Army; EM3 Walker H. Craig, U.S. Navy; Sergeant John E. Clotfelter, Army Air Corps; Captain Floyd C. Vanderhoef, Army Air Corps; and First Lieutenant Wendel A. Nelson, U.S. Marine Corps.
* World War II deceased: Technician Fourth Class Ernest J. Badger, Jr., U.S. Army; Technician Fifth Class Richard N. Elliott, U.S. Army; Technician Fifth Class Willis W. Eubanks, U.S. Army; Technician Fifth Class Cecil Ray Jackson, U.S. Army; Corporal Raymond Charles Overstreet, U.S. Army Air Corps; Private John D. Weiser, U.S. Arm; Second Class Bert C. Green, U.S. Navy; Second Lieutenant Robert Joseph Browne, U.S. Army Air Corps; First Lieutenant Henry "Heno" Head, U.S. Air Force; and Corporal Elwood Roy Williams, U.S Army Air Force.