Most decorated Saluda native

Published 8:25 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To the Editor:

After having received several inquiries from readers of my article in the May 28, 2010 issue of the Tryon Daily Bulletin, who expressed interest, particularly, in John Rhodes decoradtions for his combat service during WWII, I hasten to make that information available and offer an explanation for its omission in the original article.

Not unlike most seasoned veterans who have experienced the horrors of combat, John Rhodes, and in particular because of his sensitive nature, was reluctant for me to describe his medals, concerned that those who had similar or more embattled service may think him overly ostentatious. John understand, however, that there may be a genuine and sincere interest, particularly among those of us who remember so well the sacrifices of so many during that tragic, war-time period, and he has asked that I write a brief follow-up.

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As described in his Honorable Discharge papers (DD214), John Rhodes was decorated for his participation in battles in Normandy, Northern France, and the Ardennes with the American Theatre Service Medal, EMAT Campaign Medal, Three Bronze Service Stars, Two Purple Heart Medals with Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Infantryman Badge and a Good Conduct Medal.

My citing John in the article as the most decorated Saluda veteran of WWII, while not stated precisely to designate the group of veterans from which selected, referred exclusively to those native Saluda area veterans who were decorated for their service.

It was not my intention to ignore the honorable service of those non-native veterans who have subsequently become part of the Saluda community and whose combat records were more timely and appropriately recognized in their hometowns. We are grateful for their personal sacrifices during war-time and, for many, their unselfish contributions since settling in the Saluda area. &bsp;

W. Roy Eargle