The presentation was made during the monthly meeting of the chapter at the Elks Club.
Lt. Suits is a 29-year veteran with the Cleveland Police Department.
He is currently the Team commander of Charlie Team within the uniform patrol division; that is a team of one sergeant and seven patrol officers.
He graduated from Cleveland State Community college with a degree in Criminal Justice, and also graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy as vice president of his class. He has attended numerous specialized training classes and schools in his career.
He began his law enforcement career in as a reserve officer in January 1981 until he was employed as a full time officer in October 1981.
He was promoted to the rank of corporal in October 1987 and assumed a position as a co-supervisor. In March 1991 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and his most recent promotion to lieutenant came in August 2009. His entire career thus far has been in the uniformed division, and on the SWAT Team and as a Police Negotiator.
Suits is a native of Bradley County, attending elementary school at Blue Springs and high school at Bradley High School. He was married for 20 years to Joanne Arthur Suits until her death in 1997. He is blessed with 2 sons Nathan and Jason and several grandchildren.
He said, “Please express my appreciation to the Sons of the American Revolution for this recognition, and my gratitude for what you do to portray the history of our nation. I recognize you for your dedication to keeping alive the memories of your ancestors who actively supported the American Revolution, and how yours and their dedication to the cause, both honors and protects our freedom. In the last few years I have seen close friends pass on, or retire from the police department. I have learned a lot about work from them, through their experiences. I wish to accept this recognition on behalf of them. Thank you again.”
The Law Enforcement Commendation Medal may be presented to those who have served with distinction and devotion in the field of law enforcement. The metal is intended to recognize exceptional service or accomplishment in the field of law enforcement. Eligibility is not limited to peace officers but extends to the entire range of persons who make and enforce the law to include but not limited to peace officers, attorneys , judges, prosecutors and legislators who have performed only to an individual and only once. The medal may be presented posthumously.
The guest speaker, Joshua Kirby, park ranger at Fort Loudoun, was introduces by President Phil Newman. His talk on “Historical Fort Loudoun State Park” was very informative.
He covered the early history of the British soldiers first coming to the area from Virginia, and later from South Carolina. The South Carolina soldiers built the fort in 1756.
In 1759 open warfare started between the Cherokees and the soldiers in the fort. The Cherokees laid siege to the fort and it fell Aug. 6, 1760. The Cherokees allowed the British to leave the fort and return home. Four days later the British group were ambushed by the Cherokees and part of the garrison were killed, as they were returning to South Carolina.
Kirby said this year is the 250th anniversary of the surrender of the fort in 1760. There will be a celebration at the fort Aug. 6 through 8 to commemorate the anniversary. This will be primarily “history oriented” with historians and speakers coming from all over the world.
He also announced tthe annual “Trade Faire” will be Sept. 11 and 12 this year with the battle re-enactment taking place.
Three new members, Joe S. Davis, William Brad Davis and James B. Johnson, were sworn in by Stan Evans. Each spoke about their patriot, and gave their appreciations for those who helped them achieve this accomplishment. Society rosettes were presented to each by President Newman, and their membership certificates presented by Evans.
During old business past chapter president Brian Webb, who is the chairman of the Fund-Raising Committee for the Col. Benjamin Cleveland statue, announced that funds were steadily coming in, and the chapter is now were at about 20 percent of the goal of $48,000. He encouraged those with pledges to start coming forth with checks.
State Secretary Claude Hardison made several announcements including the upcoming National Congress (Convention) in two weeks at Cleveland Ohio this year. Several from the chapter will be attending. The Brown Bess musket that 2nd Vice President James Stone has been selling raffle tickets on for the statue for over a year, will be raffled off at the Congress.
New member Joe Davis, who is the VA representative for Bradley County, announced he VA Veterans Home for Southeast Tennessee should be built by 2013. It will be a 140-bed facility.
Maggie Evans announced the quilting bees in Bradley County were starting to make quilts, eventually for all 140 at the VA home. The chapter took on her quilting bee as a charity two years ago, helping monetarily for them to buy batting for the quilts, and to help in the cost of getting designated quilts to the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital and other military sites.
Since the last chapter meeting, members of the chapter have been involved in several SAR events; several attended the John Sevier SAR Chapter meeting in Chattanooga on May 14.
The chapter Color Guard posted and retired the Colors for the first time this year at the Memorial Day program at the courthouse, with many complements from those there.
On June 5 Charleston/Calhoun/ Hiwassee Historical Society held the their Wild River Days to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the filming of the movie “Wild River” there in 1959. The Col. Benjamin Cleveland chapter was a sponsor of this event, and had a 1/4 page add in the program.
President Newman acknowledged the large crowd of 44 present, and announced tnext month’s guest speaker will be State Representative and chapter member, Kevin Brooks, who will give a state provided program on the lost State of Franklin.
The meeting was opened with an invocation by Chaplain Harry Boyd Sr., followed by pledges to the U.S. Flag, and the SAR and Tennessee flag.
Visitors were recognized including Jim Moore, past State President of the TN Society SAR, prospective new members Steve Harbison, Hal Taylor and Jim Edgemon, family and guest of Jim Johnson, and all wives.
After the recessional, Chaplain Boyd gave the benediction, and the closing gavel was struck.