Deceased Veteran To Be Recognized At Memorial Day Ceremony

By James E. Lockemy
Each year on Memorial Day the Dillon County Veterans of the Year Organization (DCVOYO) recognizes the service of a Dillon County Veteran, now deceased, who distinguished himself/herself in service to our country. This year the DCVOYO has chosen to recognize the distinguished service of Andrew Zack (AZ) Britt, Jr.

AZ Britt, Jr, left high school and joined the United States Marines in 1967. As expected his service sent him to the jungles of Vietnam where he saw extended action. For his heroic and dedicated service, AZ went from Private E-1 to Sergeant E-5 in less than 3 years.
He received numerous award including the Vietnamese Campaign Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters and a Presidential Unit Citation. As he was preparing to leave after his honorable and devoted service, his commander sent with him a Letter of Appreciation and a Letter of Commendation was placed in his file. In addition, the commander wrote a letter to his parents thanking them for the valuable service of their son.
In the letter, LTC JW Gunn wrote, “I told (your son) today that he should be proud of his service in Vietnam. His record as a Marine is one of the best I have seen in my 18 years of service. I lack the proper vocabulary to properly express my sincere feeling of pride when I speak of your son and I will really miss having him by my side.”
AZ returned to Dillon and applied some of the electrical and refrigeration training he had received in the military with classes at Tech School and began working to service homes and businesses out of the back of his pick up truck. His business grew and eventually he was one of the most successful businessmen in Dillon County.
Later he married his wife Shirley and they were the proud parents of two daughters. As has been the case with many combat heroes, AZ did not talk much about his service. In fact, he never shared the letter above letter with his wife and children. Sadly, he kept within him many of the horrors of war. AZ left us on September 27, 2012, at the too young age of 65. Those of us who knew him still remember his strong work ethic, his winning smile and friendly nature, his military bearing that always seemed to assure you that he could handle whatever problems you had—and he did.
His family and his amazing service to this nation and community will be recognized with a Memorial Plaque and flowers on Monday, May 29, at 11 a.m. during Memorial Day Services at Veterans Square in DIllon. Other events in his service will be noted including the full letter from his Commander. Please come and honor a true American Hero from Dillon County.

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