Spe­cial edi­tion to honor their spe­cial deeds

The Enterprise - - Community Forum -

This com­mu­nity has much to be thank­ful for. St. Mary’s would be noth­ing like it is to­day if not for the im­por­tant work ac­com­plished ev­ery day by the more than 22,000 em­ploy­ees at Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent River, as well as by all of the de­fense con­trac­tors who sup­port it.

In­deed, this is in large part a mil­i­tary com­mu­nity — and not just be­cause of the Navy. Our area is home to many men and women who have also served in the Marines, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Na­tional Guard. And as Vet­er­ans Day ap­proaches, it’s an ap­pro­pri­ate time to think about those South­ern Mary­lan­ders in all branches of the U.S. armed forces who have done more than their fair share to pro­tect the free­doms we en­joy, and of­ten take for granted.

To honor and cel­e­brate that, The En­ter­prise is proud to pub­lish a full-sized, spe­cial bonus edi­tion, 100 per­cent ded­i­cated to some of our lo­cal mil­i­tary per­son­nel and their sto­ries. This com­mem­o­ra­tive edi­tion will be pub­lished this com­ing Mon­day, Nov. 6, and de­liv­ered by mail to our reg­u­lar cus­tomers as part of their cur­rent sub­scrip­tion. Copies will also be avail­able at all our reg­u­lar news­stand lo­ca­tions through­out St. Mary’s County, at the same price as our reg­u­lar Wednesday and Fri­day edi­tions.

“Vet­er­ans Day is one of those days ev­ery year that makes me pause for a mo­ment to think about the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line for me and for our coun­try,” said David Fike, pres­i­dent of APG Me­dia of Ch­e­sa­peake, par­ent com­pany of The En­ter­prise. “This Vet­er­ans Day, please take a mo­ment to thank a vet­eran for their ser­vice.”

Along with many other fea­tures and list­ings of spe­cial events, you will find com­pelling sto­ries about:

• Jim We­ber, now 87, who served in Korea with the Marines be­fore find­ing his way to St. Mary’s to farm to­bacco and even­tu­ally work in county gov­ern­ment. He has kept his Sem­per Fi spirit alive by help­ing or­ga­nize and main­tain an an­nual Vet­er­ans Day cel­e­bra­tion in the town of He­len.

• Charles County Cir­cuit Judge Wil­liam R. Greer Jr., who has found ful­fill­ment and sat­is­fac­tion wear­ing two dif­fer­ent uni­forms — the robes of a ju­rist and the fa­tigues of the Mary­land Na­tional Guard. He talks about how the re­wards and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of each role in­forms the other.

• Elvis Ward, who grew up the son of share­crop­pers in then-seg­re­gated Calvert County, and found the Army to be his best path­way to suc­cess in a real ca­reer. He now works with the pub­lic schools as in-school sus­pen­sion co­or­di­na­tor.

• Tom Jar­boe, now a St. Mary’s County com­mis­sioner and pres­i­dent of in­ter­na­tional pro­grams for a de­fense firm, who as a younger man served a hitch with the U.S. Coast Guard. He re­calls deal­ing with refugees and gun run­ners.

• A cof­fee klatch of vet­er­ans who sip free java and talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences at reg­u­lar get-to­geth­ers in Charles County spon­sored by a fast-food chain. These men of­ten find peace and res­o­lu­tion of decades-long ten­sions by be­ing able to share thoughts and feel­ings with oth­ers who have been where they’ve been, and seen what they’ve seen.

This Vet­er­ans Day edi­tion is an­other part of our Trib­utes Pro­gram launched in 2014 by APG Me­dia of Ch­e­sa­peake to show­case, honor and thank all those who serve our coun­try.

Of course, re­mem­ber­ing and rec­og­niz­ing our South­ern Mary­land vet­er­ans shouldn’t be a once-a-year-thing. What these lo­cal he­roes and many oth­ers did for our coun­try is amaz­ing, and we salute and thank each of them for their ser­vice to our na­tion.

We ask you to join us in this cel­e­bra­tion, and we thank you in ad­vance if you de­cide to as­sist in our ef­forts by pick­ing up a copy of this com­mem­o­ra­tive edi­tion.

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