By Betsy Finklea
Ronnie Stone was named the Dillon County Veteran of the Year at the annual Veterans Day Ceremony held at the Dillon City-County Complex’s Veterans Square on Monday.
Harry Moore, last year’s Veteran of the Year, presented Stone with the award. He said Stone served in the National Guard and they called him “Rock” He then recounted Stone’s career. He graduated from Dillon High School in 1966, and joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967. After basic training at Parris Island, he went to AIT training at Camp Lejeune. He trained as a weapons machine gunner and was deployed to Vietnam. Because of his stature, he was a tunnel rat and was sent into tunnels to seek out the enemy with a flashlight and a .45. In August of 1967, he was shot four times. He received numerous medals for his service including the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Purple Heart among others.
At the presentation, Stone said he was in total shock. He thanked God for being able to serve his country and for allowing to come back to his beautiful wife and family.
The guest speaker for the event was SGM Ulysses Mays, a veteran who grew up in the Little Rock area. He said there were three issues regarding veterans that need to be addressed: 1) There are way too many homeless veterans; 2) Healthcare; and 3) All veterans need a 10 percent pay raise.
The George F. Spradley Annual $1,000 VFW Scholarship was presented by Mr. J Regan Walters to Jamison Herring of Latta. He read his winning essay at the ceremony.
Others participating in the program were MG (Ret.) James E. Lockemy, Rev. Matthew Adams, the Dillon JROTC, the DHS Gifted and Talented Chorus, MSGT (Ret.) Terry Morris, SFC (Ret.) Harry Moore, CSM (Ret.) George Pullie, U.S. Army Veteran Mallory Scott, Ronnie Stone, Veteran Lloyd Brown, and MSGT James Leslie.
Here is a photo gallery by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald:
Photos by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald
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