By SHERRY DIGMON
The congregation of Atmore First Assembly hosted their 31st annual patriotic presentation “Celebration of Freedom” Sunday, June 28. The program is always held the Sunday before July 4th, and it’s an excellent way to usher in America’s birthday.
Each year, veterans are honored in general and a few are selected for individual recognition. This year six veterans were honored.
First Assembly Pastor Bro. Don Davis presented plaques of appreciation to the following.
- Cpl. Jack A. Wright served in the United States Army, Tk. Co, 4th Inf., Seattle, Wash., 1949 – 1953.
His awards and medals include Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Medal.
He has been the chaplain at American Legion Post 90 for 60 years.
- Sgt. E-5 Marcus Ray Stewart served in the United States Army in Korea and Germany, Bosnia War 1995-1996, Airborne / Air Assault. He served three overseas tours and 10 years active duty.
His decorations and medals include Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), Army Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (3rd Award), Joint Meritorious Unit Medal Award, Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, NATO Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal (Non commissioned Officer’s Professional Development Ribbon), Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver / Mechanic Badge.
- Gy Sgt. E-7 Robert “Bob” Craker served in the United States Marine Corps in Korea, 1952-54; Okinawa, 1954-57; Hawaii, 1962-65; Vietnam, 1968-69. He retired from the Corps with 21 years of service.
His medals include Korea Service Medal, Expert Rifle Shooter Badge, Expert Pistol Badge, Six Months Drill Field Dl, 7 Awards for Good Conduct, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Stars, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal with 5 Stars, National Defense Service Medal with Star.
- E-5 Machinist Mate Second Class Chris Walker served in the United States Navy aboard USS Mississippi CGN 40, Norfolk Virginia, 1983-1988. USS Mississippi CGN 40 was a nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser launched 31 July, 1976, commissioned August 5, 1978 by President Jimmy Carter.
His medals include Good Conduct Medal, Expert Marksman Medal, National Defense Medal.
- PFC E-3 Charles R. Wilson served in the United States Army, Btry B 1st How BN, 92nd Arty Fort Bragg. N.C., 1963 – 1969.
His medals include Good Conduct Medal, Expert Rifle Badge, National Defense Medal, Qualified 155 Howitzer small cannon with range of 9 miles.
- E-8 Master Cryptologic System Technician Paul Andrew Chason served in the United States Navy in Alaska, Guam, Japan, Okinawa, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Iceland, Hawaii, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He also served in Ft. Denver, Maryland; Corry Station, Fla.; Washington D.C.; Meade, Montana; Homestead, Fla.; Imperial Beach, Calif.; and Scaggs Island, Calif.
A Cryptologic Technician performs a wide range of tasks in support of National Intelligence gathering effort, with an emphasis on cryptologic and signal intelligence related products.
He served from 1976-1999, for 23 1/2 years in the Navy.
Medals, badges and citations include Meritorious Unit Commendation (3), Good Conduct Medal (6), 45 Cal. Pistol Marksman, Army Commendation Medal (4), Navy Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Many thanks to Faith Vickrey and Rick Hetrick for their assistance with this article.