On Dec. 29, during my swearing in ceremony for Probate judge of Rockdale County, I acknowledged several people who supported me and played a valuable role in my campaign.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Airman Dominique Brown, from Covington, inspects the through-decker sheave on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike).

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Lou Eisenbrandt was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 14 years ago, the result of exposure to Agent Orange. Female Angels of Mercy came in contact with the lethal herbicide when cutting away the uniforms on wounded soldiers. I was privileged to meet Lou and listen to her awe-inspiring presentation during the July gathering of the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association. And this is her story.

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The Sub Chasers were the smallest commissioned ships in the U.S. Navy during WWII. The tiny 110-foot vessels cruised at 12 knots with a flank speed of less than 20 knots. Nicknamed the “Splinter Fleet” because of their wooden hulls, a crew of three officers and 24 enlisted men sailed the oceans searching for the enemy.

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In June of 1968, a new marshal arrived in town. The town was Korat, Thailand, the new marshal 1st Lt. Marshall Tilley, an F-105 Thunderchief fighter jock. Nicknamed the ‘Thud’, ‘Lead Sled’, or ‘Hyper Hog’; an F-105 carried a bigger bomb load than the legendary B-17 and B-24 heavy bombers of WWII. The bad guys stalking the badlands were Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese Communist soldiers. Marshall Tilley fought the good fight for a year, completing 152 combat missions.

Army Pvt. Dana D. Washington has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, an…

Cody K. StephensonSailor Cody K. Stephenson graduated from Recruit Training Command (RTC) at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois on Aug. 3. Cody was in division 239 during his eight weeks at RTC. He encountered intensive discipline and knowledge which included Naval history, the fundam…

CONYERS -- When Helen Schukraft Sutherland's fiancee' went to fight the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II, she didn't want to be left out of the excitement. When the Navy formed a new branch for women called the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in 1943, she pu…

The Yellow Brick Assisted Living Home in Lithonia is now the home of Ralph Way and Alice Stallings. We met recently in the front room parlor and listening to these two amazing people of the Greatest Generation reminded me of a George Burns and Gracie Allen routine -- amusing, yet filled with…

Illinois-born Georgia resident Wilbur Hattendorf learned mechanical skills at an early age. Born in 1916, as a teenager he chauffeured a disabled WWI veteran to earn enough money to purchase his first car, a 1923 Model-T coupe.

CONYERS -- George Merritt built a corn mill in 1823 south of Hightower Trail called Costley's Mill. Creek and Cherokee Indians helped rebuild the mill several times after devastating fires, but when Gen. Sherman passed directly in front of the mill during his "March to the Sea" and threatene…

During high school in Bridgeport, Ct., Ray Supple worked as an usher in the local movie house. "I still remember that Sunday when the lights suddenly came on. My boss walked onto the stage and announced that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. We knew our lives had changed forever."

COVINGTON -- Veterans are a unique breed, armed with individual talents as well as the dexterity to utilize their military training and experiences as productive members of society. The Merryvale Five are such men.

CONYERS -- Dec. 7, 1941 -- 8 a.m. Unarmed and out of fuel on a long base leg approach to Hickam Field, 21-year-old B-17 copilot Ernest Leroy "Roy" Reid saw plumes of black smoke billowing above Pearl Harbor. The pilot, with one trip already logged to Pearl, told Reid not to worry.

Rockdale County resident Charles Crews fought WWII beneath the Pacific Ocean as a submariner. He and the crew of the USS Spot were depth-charged four times, twice by their own country.

Most combat veterans live and sleep with the nightmares of only one war, but Bill Edwardy of Conyers copes with the vivid memories of three.

Rockdale County resident Freeman Barber described his time serving in a Sherman tank during World War II as being part of a team out of necessity. "Only the tank commander with his head popped up from the top hatch knows what's going on," he said.

Robert Atkinson had 15 days remaining to complete his tour in Vietnam when he received what the grunts called 'a million dollar wound' not enough to kill you, but bad enough to send you home mostly intact. Atkinson was atop an amtrack when it hit a land mine; his third time to survive a road…

An icon of American military history lives south of Mansfield in Jasper County. His name is Gerald Hipps. Born into poverty near Miami Beach, Hipps and his family lived without electricity or indoor plumbing. Food was scarce; his mother worked in a laundry; a grandmother raised the siblings,…

The late Newton County resident Britt Jackson spent 15 months as a prisoner of war in the infamous Stalag 17 during World War II. Known by many Americans as the setting for the hit TV sitcom "Hogan's Heroes," Stalag 17 was certainly not a situation comedy to the airmen imprisoned there.

CONYERS -- Theodore R. Britton Jr. dealt with racial segregation at home but was a brother in the U.S. Marine Corps as World War II wound down. Denied a commission during the Korean War, he led a successful life of learning that culminated in an ambassadorship to Barbados and Grenada.

CONYERS -- The message delivered by Tommy Clack was basic during Friday's Veterans Day program at the Walk of Heroes in Black Shoals Park. He urged people to thank a veteran, support them and never forget the service they provided to their country.

My father served with the Army Air Corp in Burma and India. That was his war. Too soon, we baby-boomers of The Greatest Generation had our war: Vietnam. My dad and his Band of Brothers fought for victory under the uncompromising Allied demand of unconditional surrender. My Band of Brothers f…

CONYERS -- American Legion Post 77 Commander Zeste Debro believes service doesn't end when the uniform is hung up for good. It's a sense of spirit he hopes people will see from the local Legion post with service to the community and outreach to returning service men and women.

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FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) -- Austin Trosper remembers panic on Sept. 11, 2001, as his mother and other parents emptied his 2nd grade class, fearing an attack on the Army post where he went to school.

CONYERS -- After handing out flyers at Conyers Fabulous Fourth Festival, Tommy Clack realized how few people knew Rockdale County was home to a veterans war memorial.

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