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Memorial Day 2011
Monday, 30 May 2011

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(L-R) VFW Ladies Auxiliary member Pamela Griggers, LTC Townsend, and VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Shirley Curl lay a Memorial Day wreath at the Veterans' Memorial on Highway 280 between Lyons and Vidalia.

May 30--  Local patriots took time Monday to remember and honor the 82 men from Toombs County who gave their lives for the country in World War I, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

An Army battalion commander from Fort Stewart, Lieutenant Colonel Miles Townsend, addressed the Memorial Day ceremony at Southeastern Tech in Vidalia.  The program is sponsored each year by the VFW Auxiliary of the J. Barry Jones Post #3563.

"There's no greater honor than to address the veterans of past wars and to honor those who have returned home.  It's just an incredible honor to do that today," he said.

Two soldiers assigned to LTC Townsend's 3rd Infantry Division unit have been killed in Iraq.  "It's a wonderful opportunity on Memorial Day to take time and think about those we've lost, especially those who have impacted our lives personally and whom we've had the opportunity to lead.  It's a great privilege," he notes.

The 3rd Infantry's headquarters is returning to Iraq later this year and LTC Townsend says it's still a hard job.  "I'm very proud of everything we've been able to achieve.  The mission still continues and it's very difficult training our Iraqi and coalition partners.  There are still a great many challenges and a lot of hard work to go," he reports.

Lieutenant Townsend also suggest Memorial Day is a good time to salute the men and women who continue to stand up for America.

"You've got to keep in mind that today's soldier has joined an all-volunteer force knowing the probability of deploying to a theater of combat is very high, so we've got to stand in awe of the men and women who have done that," he said.

 
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