First Vice President James Stone Stone awarded the Fire Safety Commendation Medal to Capt. Phillip Shelton from Bradley County Fire Rescue.
Shelton joined the Charleston Volunteer Fire Department in 1974 at the age 18, and has spent the last 37 years serving his community. In 1988 he was promoted to lieutenant of the Charleston Volunteer Fire Department, and in the 1990s was promoted to assistant chief.
He joined the Calhoun Volunteer Fire department in 1997 and is also an honorary member of the West Polk Fire Department. All throughout the 1980s and 1990s he won many awards, including most man hours, and top officer awards.
He is an active member of Bradley County Fire Rescue, where presently he is the captain of the Charleston station.
Stone called for a moment of silence for both chapter President Tommy McLain, who is recovering in a hospital for heart surgery, and for the victims of 9/11. Phil Newman gave an update on McLain’s condition.
One new member, Milton G. Humberd, was sworn in and membership certificate presented by Stan Evans, while Stone read to him the history of the Society rosette, and presented him one as a new member.
Stone presented the Bronze Color Guard Medal to East Tennessee Vice President and chapter member Claude Hardison for his accumulated efforts in state and national events.
Last year’s President General J. David Sympson declared during his tenure he would lead the SAR in a tribute to our nation’s veterans who are members of the SAR. He initiated a new effort in this area by setting up a new program, the World War II Corps, to honor all SAR members who are World War II veterans.
He appointed a national adjutant for this program, the state society adjutants to help process the survey forms from the World War II veterans.
Chapter member Stan Evans was appointed the state adjutant for the Tennessee Society. The program is still actively processing all World War II veterans still remaining.
Evans presented the Certificate of Patriotism award to chapter member Ronald V. Sellers who is a World War II veteran.
Sellers spoke of his experiences in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the South Pacific and how it changed a Tennessee boy.
He said it was one of the most important events in his life, and then he spoke of another “most important event” which he and his wife, Mary, had just celebrated; their 65th wedding anniversary.
Evans next called his wife, Maggie, up to present her the Certificate of Patriotism award for her father, who is a chapter member but lives in California. Evans read a statement about his service in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS West Virginia and the various invasions that he was involved in.
One of the experiences he had during that period included being in the boarding party that went aboard a sinking Japanese battleship, and removing a brass compass case from the bridge, which he later made into a lamp.
The Certificate of Patriotism award reads: “For meritorious service during World War II while serving in the United States Armed Forces. This conspicuous performance of duty represents exemplary patriotism in the finest traditions of the United States Armed Forces and reflects great credit upon the recipient, the Military Service, and the Sons of the America Revolution.”
Stone awarded Certificates of Appreciation to Steve Crass, editor and publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner, and Gwen Swiger, associate editor, for all the continuing support that they have provided the chapter over the years, and recently with the coverage of the chapter receiving the President General’s Achievement Award as the “best chapter” in its membership size group in the entire National Society.
Evans joined in, recalling several other occasions, which were the Patriots Day in Tennessee becoming final, and the Last Land Battle of the Revolutionary War on Lookout Mountain Anniversary. Evans stated he would be “the man on the scene” covering these events for the Banner. He also noted that Steve Crass is a charter member of the chapter.
The meeting was recessed for a fine dinner and fellowship.
Afterward the guest speaker was introduced by 2nd Vice President Van Deacon. The guest was a past chapter president, Phil Newman, who presented an old 1950 Department of Conservation film, “Fox Hunters in Bradley County.”
It showed foxhound owners from all over the Southeast coming to Cleveland for a fox hunt. They checked into the old Cherokee Hotel and held a special dog show in which the foxhounds were judged. Newman’s father’s dog was the winning dog.
Newman said that the dog’s name was Birmingham Flapper, and later on it had two pups which they named Nip and Tuck. The fox chase was fun to watch but the fox always got away, he said. Afterward there was a square dance in the gymnasium of the old Bradley County High School.
Dual and chapter member John Echerd reported on the upcoming Gathering at Sycamore Shoals celebration and grave dedication in Elizabethton on Sept. 16-17. Several chapter members will be participating in the Color Guard and presenting wreaths.
East Tennessee VP Claude Hardison reported on the upcoming National Society Leadership and Trustees Meeting in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. He also reported on the Center for the Advancement of American Heritage fundraising drive to support Phase II of the new National Headquarters building. He collected a considerable amount toward the chapter’s contributions for this drive.
The invocation and benediction were given by the Rev. Bill Spencer. The Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag was led by Van Deacon, the pledge to the SAR flag led by Stan Evans and the pledge to the Tennessee flag led by Dave Hicks.
There were a large number of visitors attending this meeting, including Don and Sandra Laneger, guests of the Hickses, Charles Parsons, John Humberd, Commander Don Tankersley and all the wives and ladies. Two prospective members were also present, Dan Crook and Jim Laub.
Stone announced the next meeting will be held on Oct. 13.