Tommy Thompson Named Dillon County Veteran Of The Year (with photo gallery)

Tommy Thompson was named the Dillon County Veteran of the Year at the Dillon County Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday at the Dillon City-County Complex. Neva McLaughlin was the guest speaker. More will be in The Dillon Herald next week.

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By Betsy Finklea
Tommy Thompson was named the Dillon County Veteran of the year at the Dillon County Veterans Day Ceremony, at Veterans Square at the Dillon City-County Complex on Friday.
Bobby Mclean, the 2016 Veteran of the year, presented the award.
Thompson served in the U.S Air Force, having joined in March 1969. He was honorably discharged in October 1976 as an E-5 Staff Sergeant. He is a member of the American Legion Post 32, where he is a past-commander and currently Sergeant at Arms. He has been actively involved with the Palmetto Boys State program and the American Legion Dillon High School JROTC Award Program. He works for large American Legion gatherings and handles the building rentals. He has been active with the American Legion Baseball Team. He is a member of Little Rock Baptist Church.
Thompson thanked all who came out and his wife, Pam, for her belief and support. He said he was humbled and deeply honored to receive this award. He said he would do his best to make Dillon County proud.
The program opened with a welcome from Dillon Mayor Todd Davis. He noted that it was the 242nd birthday of the Marine Corps. He said we should thank a veteran every day.
Dr. James Orr, pastor of Pyerian Baptist Church, gave the invocation. Lynn Bowman sang the national anthem. The U.S, POW/MIA and S.C flags were hoisted by M/Sgt. (Ret) Terry Morris, Former Seamar, First Class Tony Peele, CSM (Ret) George Pullie, U.S Army Mallory Scott, and SFC (Ret) Harry Moore. SFC (Ret) Randy Gray led the Pledge of Allegiance. M/Sgt. (Ret) Jackie Thomas introduced the guest speaker, Neva McLaughlin.
SSG Neva McLaughlin spoke about her grandfather, who was her inspiration. She said her grandfather was a hero. He told her about his life as a cook and about peeling potatoes. She said cooks are the hardest-working soldiers in the military getting up there hours before everyone else and staying up there hours after everyone else preparing nutritious meals. She spoke of her own military experiences and the importance of families to the soldiers.
The George Spradley Scholarship was presented to Makinleigh Morris. She read her essay about her relative, James Sargent.
The Memorial Wreath was laid. Taps was played by Kris Long of Dillon High School. Dr. Orr gave the benediction.

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