Tryon United Methodist honors and remembers vets

Published 2:52 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tryon United Methodist Church plans to honor veterans Sunday, Nov. 6 with a celebration of their military careers and the creation of book to keep those memories preserved.

“’Honor and Remember’ pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of the men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform and have fought for our freedom,” reads the opening of the book. “This reminds us that the ultimate sacrifice for our eternal freedom was made by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Hubert Charles Crater is one of many veterans featured in an “Honor and Remember” book created by members of the Tryon United Methodist Church’s nurturing committee. (photo submitted)

Members of TUMC or their children who have served in any of the eight branches of military were invited to submit military biographies, as well as photos if they wished, for TUMC’s Honor and Remember book.

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In all, 40 members responded, said co-chairs LTC John Albree and Greg Turnage.

“This was a real honor for me to work on,” Albree said.

Albree spent just shy of 26 years in military service – almost 24 in the Army and almost four in the Marine Corps.

Some participants spent short stints in the armed services, having been drafted or enlisting during World War II. A 25-year-old Hurbert Charles Crater, for example, entered the Navy in June 1944. He served as a radioman on the USS Drexler, which during the battle of Okinawa was hit by two Japanese Kamikaze warplanes and sank in less than a minute. The hit killed 158 crewmembers but Crater managed to save two of his shipmates from downing – they remained afloat until they were rescued two hours later.

A 2003 Landrum High School graduate, Everette Adam Palmer, joined the Army after graduation. Palmer saw combat on multiple deployments in Irag including sustaining serious injuries from an Improvised Explosive Devise. Palmer said in his summary that he was overwhelmed with all of the love and prayers he received locally after the attack and upon him returning home.

Other members or family of members included in the book are: John Allen Albree II, Robert W. Bailey, Guy Beaumont, John A. Dalgren, David L. Hart, Larry Hedgepath, Mike Justiss, Charles W. McCall, Jr., John “Mark” McCall, Frank Monterisi, James “Curley” Newsome, Wallace W. Patrick, William M. Steele, Charles Carlyle Stratford, Jr., Carroll D. Strider, Sr., and Linwood Williams – all Army; Walter D. Cunningham, John Phillip Goree and Bobby Henson, Sr. – Marine Corps; Victor Henri Bitter, Jr., Jim Cole, James Henson, Paul E. Hicks, Robin W. McCall, Louis Robert Montgomery, Jr., Robert M. Palmer and Roy K. Vehorn – Navy; Thomas R. Boles – Coast Guard; Charles E. Davis, Jerrell Diggs, Charlie Magee, John W. McGuinn and Terry Richard McGuinn – Air Force; James “Jimmy” R. Mullins – Army National Guard; and Johnny L. Cochran and Joseph “Joe” E. Robinson III – Air National Guard.

The concept of the church creating such a book began being thrown around amongst members back in May 2010. Organizers officially had members respond with their bios after the first of this year.

The church will commemorate the book and honor its veterans with a ceremony at 11 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6. The church also invited members of the local VFW and American Legion.