ROCKINGHAM — Each branch of the U.S. Armed Services was represented Friday for Richmond County Hospice’s 11th annual Salute to Veterans.
Following a rendition of the national anthem by Maddie Gibson, Army veteran John Talyor performed a recitation of “Ragged Old Flag” by Johnny Cash.
Guest speaker for the event was Bill Clark, AMVETS national 1st vice commander.
During his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, the Pennsylvania native served as a helicopter crew chief, photojournalist and recruiter and has been active in several other veterans organizations including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Clark’s speech revolved around his variation of the boxes of freedom: the soapbox; the jury box; the confessional box; the black box (internet); the press box; and the ammo box.
“There’s a phrase I’m sure you’ve all heard, that ‘Some gave all, but all gave some,” Clark said. “And it’s true — all gave some.
He then recalled a World War II and Korean War veteran that he befriended when he moved to North Carolina.
“I used to sit and visit with him and talk about our time in the Corps and some different humorous events of war — which were few and far between.”
After the man died, Clark said the man’s widow looked forward to talking about his experiences with Clark and that, decades later would still wake up screaming and soaked in sweat.
“When you say, ‘All gave some,’ it puts a little better light on that,” Clark said.
“It’s a difficult thing to understand veterans, especially combat veterans,” Clark continued. “What they do and what they experience — and what they bring home with them — sometimes it’s physical scars, sometimes mental scars, sometimes both.
“But when you see a veteran, you know that the baggage they carry sometimes is kept internally.”
After Clark’s speech, the audience saw a K-9 demonstration from Midgard K9 Solutions of Laurinburg with RC Hospice Human Resources Director Arturo DeAguliar wearing the bite suit.
Following that was a playing of a medley where veterans were asked to stand during their respective branch song, a demonstration by the Richmond Senior High School Marching Raiders drumline, the 13 folds of the U.S. flag by the AMVETS Post 316 Honor Guard and a dove release after 21 gun salute and playing of taps by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.
See photos below. (Note – Photos are in reverse chronological order.)