Home Local News Veteran’s Day Celebrations Offer Due Recognition to Local Fallen Soldiers

Veteran’s Day Celebrations Offer Due Recognition to Local Fallen Soldiers

American Legion entry in Rockingham Veterans’ Day Parade 2017.
Photo courtesy of C.K. Craven.

ROCKINGHAM – The significance of the big turnout for Saturday’s Veterans’ Day Parade through downtown Rockingham was not lost on the military personnel in attendance.

“Military people don’t often ask for anything, much less recognition of our service,” Navy veteran Bill Faucett said. “But it’s certainly reassuring to see this kind of showing at a Veterans’ Day parade.”

Faucett was not alone in acknowledging how much it meant to see such a crowd waving and cheering as the veterans passed by.

Sam Standridge, commander of the local AmVets chapter, was happy to see so many members of the community actively participating in the parade itself.

“We have more groups (in the parade) this year than I remember from any in the recent past,” Sam said.  “That’s always a good thing.”

It should be noted that Standridge himself was highly active Saturday; he had just completed his role as leader of the AmVets during their participation in the VFW Wreath Ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Park a few hours earlier, and was now assisting ROTC Cadet Silva don an original WWI uniform (that Standridge himself had provided) for the parade.

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“I got a call from Laurinburg that someone had an original World War I uniform and was going to throw it away,” Standridge commented. “I was down there in 30 minutes.”

Prior to the parade, a poignant tribute to a fallen veteran of Vietnam was offered during an informal conversation with Wade Hoopaugh of Norman.  Hoopagh’s younger brother Lonnie left the family farm in northern Richmond County and enlisted for duty in Vietnam.  He was initially assigned to a relatively safe position with a transport ship, but, while home on leave, Lonnie informed the family that he had volunteered for a front line river boat patrol assignment.

When questioned as to why he was purposely engaging in such an action, knowing that the casualty rate for river boat patrol personnel was over 75 percent, Lonnie responded, according to his brother, that, “I can’t really do much for my country in the engine room of a transport ship.”

Lonnie Hoopaugh, contributed photo.

While manning a machine gun on a river boat patrol mission on Feb. 11, 1969, Hoopaugh was killed by rocket fire from a shore ambush.  He was 22 years old.

It is for that type of patriotic dedication as demonstrated by military personnel such as Hoopaugh of Norman that citizens duly recognize and honor veterans on their special day.

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