Rutherford Weekly

May 18, 2023

Rutherford Weekly - Shelby NC

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 0 of 23

US Marine Alan Marston cried when he tried to ex- plain his feelings about his fi rst visit to the war memori- als in Washington, DC. Marston, of Rutherford County, was among veterans on the Blue Ridge Honor Flight (BRHF) on April 29. Shedding tears Marston said, "The thing that struck me the most was the school age kids coming up to us and thanking us." Marston, a two time Purple Heart recipient after spending 13 months in Vietnam, had been to Wash- ington before April 29 but never to visit the war memo- rials, which is the purpose of the Honor Flight. His wife Marie was his guardian, granted special permission due to Alan's physical health. Marie, the former Veterans Service Director for Rutherford County said, "You know I have all the re- spect in the world for these men and women who served and to see actual names and know what these memorials mean to the veterans, my heart is with ev- eryone of them. I call them my brothers and will also be there for them. To see the memorials and watching the veterans, I felt like I was experiencing a part of their life." Alan Marston was joined by approximately 90 other veterans, guardians, fl ight leaders, a medic team and supportive fl ight team, Marston said the day was fan- tastic and was so glad to be able to go. Kathy Kelley, a sister of slain Vietnam War soldier Reginald Lynch of Western North Carolina, wept as she read her brother's name engraved on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall. With her hand pressed on the wall, Kathy said she was just a little girl when her brother went off to the Vietnam War and never came back. She hadn't seen his name on the wall before. It broke her heart, but she was proud to be there. Kathy, of Buncombe County is a Gold Star Family member, and was among three other Gold Star Family members aboard the fl ight. The BRHF was the fi rst time since its in- ception in 2006 that no World War II veterans were on the fl ight. When the Honor Flights were fi rst begun, it was a desire to get as many World War II veterans to see their War Memorial as possible. Today many of the Greatest Generation have passed on or not physically able to make the trip. All veterans on April 29 were during the Vietnam era and two were Korean War vet- erans. Other Rutherford Countians on the fl ight were Lisa Barrett of Forest City, who accompanied Vet- eran Bill Keck from Chesnee, S.C; Larry Lawing with his son Brian Watson as his guardian; Calvin Spurlin, Terry Moore, Mike Callahan all of Forest City and Da- vid Brooks of Bostic, accompanied by guardians Tonya Garrison and Jean Gordon (media representative). "Honoring and remembering our veterans past and present should be something we do often," Garrison said. "Freedom as we know it is such a gift. I was hon- ored to tour our Nation's Capitol with a group of true heroes." Barrett has been a guardian on three fl ights. "God never called me to serve, but He did call me to serve those who have served or are currently serving our great nation," Barrett began. "Ever since I was a little girl I have had a deep love for our country and the men and women who have been called to defend it." "I feel so blessed that they share their hearts and stories with me; some of their deepest pain. I am so proud to be an integral part of such a worthy and won- derful organization, Blue Ridge Honor Flight." Continued on page 12. ISSUE NO. 20 • May 18, 2023 ISSUE NO. 20 • May 18, 2023 • • • 828-248-1408 • 828-248-1408 N.C. TRACTOR & FARM SUPPLY 299 Railroad Ave., Rutherfordton • 828-288-0395 Mobile: 828-429-5008 • SALES SERVICE PARTS PROUDLY SERVING RUTHERFORD, CLEVELAND, GASTON, LINCOLN, POLK COUNTIES AS THE AREAS HOMETOWN MASSEY FERGUSON DEALER. IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE IF YOU BUY ANYWHERE ELSE YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! YOU WILL PAY TOO MUCH! OUR MEMORIAL DAY EDITION WILL PUBLISH THURSDAY, MAY 25 Call 828-248-1408 to reserve your advertising space today! Our 31 st Year • Over 25,000 Weekly Readers Article by Jean Gordon. Photos by Jean Gordon and Contributed. Vietnam Veterans Ðinally received Vietnam Veterans Ðinally received their "welcome home" Thanks to Blue Ridge Honor Flight SMALL TOWN FRIENDLY, BIG TIME RESULTS Marine Alan Marston of Forest City, a two time Purple Heart recipient from the Vietnam War, is greeted at the Lincoln Memorial Ceremony by another vet on April 29. Vietnam veteran Larry Lawing, shown with his niece Carol Ramsey, returning home from Washington from the Blue Ridge Honor Flight. She, along with a few other family members, were at the airport when Lawing came home from Vietnam in 1968. Vietnam War veteran Mary Presnell (left), an assistant to the commander and Michelle Holcombe, Vietnam War nurse, were among those on the honor fl ight. Kathy Kelley from Buncombe County touches the name of her late brother, Reginald Lynch, at the Vietnam War Memorial. When he went to war she was just a little sister.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Rutherford Weekly - May 18, 2023