VFW honors local heroes and volunteers in annual awards ceremony

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8362 honored 12 of Lawrence County’s most upstanding citizens in the VFW’s annual awards ceremony on Saturday, according to VFW Post Quarter Master Fred Gillespie, who is pictured above with three honorees present for their awards. Pictured from the left: VFW Post Commander King Streater, Hatton Fire Chief Steve Coan, Patriot Pin First Place winner Brody Scott Gillespie, Patriot Pin Second Place winner McKenzie Faith Price, and Quarter Master Gillespie.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8362 held its second annual awards ceremony, honoring and recognizing 12 first responders, veterans and community service volunteers at a special ceremony Saturday in Moulton.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic likely hurt this year’s attendance, VFW Post 8362 Quarter Master Fred Gillespie said about 23 attendees were present to honor some of Lawrence County’s most upstanding citizens.

He also said three of those who were awarded were present for the ceremony held at Greg’s Ambulance Service on Saturday, with VFW Post Commander King Streater officiating.

Those awarded in person included Hatton Fire Chief Steve Coan, who was recognized as Firefighter of the Year, Brody Scott Gillespie, who received First Place Patriotic Pin, and McKenzie Faith Price, who received Second Place Patriotic Pin.

The two Patriotic Pin winners were recognized for their essays on “Why I love America,” which the two submitted in participation with an annual VFW program.

Town Creek Police officer Dennis Sharp was named Law Officer of the Year, and Town Creek officer Justin Wade Stephens was recognized as second-place contender for the title, Gillespie said.

Julia “Sugar” Wilson and her husband, Nathaniel P. Wilson, were also recognized for their “distinguished service to the community and for furthering the aims and ideals of the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” Gillespie added. He said the two purchased 250 American flags, which were placed on the graves of veterans across Lawrence County on Memorial Day this year.

The VFW also recognized and awarded Robert A. and Guen G. Wade, Rod and Cheryl G. Sawyer, and Brent W. Gillespie, who volunteered to place the veterans’ flags on Memorial Day.

Fred Gillespie said the five were awarded for their “patriotic services rendered to the community.”

Gillespie said each of those recognized received a certificate of appreciation along with a $50 award from the VFW Post 8362. Each recipient also qualified to move on to a district category within the VFW.

He said the service is a great opportunity for local veterans and community members to fellowship and connect with other local residents and community first responders.

For more information about the VFW, contact Fred Gillespie at 256-686-2254.

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