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UDC to honor four veterans Saturday

The Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will honor four U.S. military veterans at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in the Stanback Auditorium of the Rowan Public Library.
The men served overseas and in the United States and will receive the unique medals issued by the UDC. These medals honor Confederate veterans and their lineal descendants who have served in the U.S. military.
Chapter President Sue Curtis, with assistance by Recorder of Crosses Trudy Hall, will present the medals.
Ed Curtis, a Vietnam Cross of Military Service recipient and retired veterans employment representative with the Employment Security Commission, will be the speaker.
Curtis served in the U.S. Navy and received his medal during the N.C. UDC Convention held in Salisbury in 1992. He is a descendant of Edward J. Bray, who served in Co. G, 46th Regiment, N.C. Infantry in the Civil War.
Other program participants include Hoke 2nd Vice President Barbara Upright, 3rd Vice President Julie Hunter and members of the Charles F. Fisher Chapter No. 73, Children of the Confederacy.
Government flags and one from each branch of service will be among those displayed.
A reception will follow the service, which is open to the public and especially all veterans and past recipients of UDC medals.
A World War II Cross of Military Service will be presented to Willis D. Linder of Stanley, who served in the U.S. Navy as a radarman 3rd Class at Wake Island, Iwo Jima, Japan and the Phillipines. His grandfather, John Hartman, served in Co. D, 10th Regiment, N.C. Infantry (1st Regiment, N.C. Artillery).
Durward P. Bearden of Hueytown, Ala., will receive a World War II Cross of Military Service. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a private and machinist’s mate in the Solomon Islands. His ancestor, Benjamin F. Chastain, served in Company Co. E, 8th Battalion Ga. Infantry. Hoke member Sandra Boyer of Salisbury will accept for Bearden, her uncle, who will not be able to attend.
Past recipient Charlie Walters will accept the World War II Cross of Military Service for his deceased brother, Harold C. Walters of Salisbury, who received three bronze service stars while serving in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe.
Last year the UDC recognized another brother, Jack D. Walters. Their ancestor was David P. Walter of Cabarrus County who served in Co. C, 33rd Regiment, N.C. Infantry until his right leg had to be amputated which caused his retirement to the Invalid Corps.
A National Defense Medal for the Vietnam War period will be awarded to James Donald Linder of Salisbury for his service in the U.S. Army as specialist 4th Class, Military Police, at Fort Hood, Texas.
His grandfather, John Hartman, served in Co. D, 10th Regiment, N.C. Infantry (1st Regiment, NC Artillery). The Linder brothers are sons of the late Nora Hartman Linder, who was a member of the Hoke Chapter and was recognized throughout the UDC as a Real Daughter.
The medals that will be awarded date back to 1898 when the UDC resolved that every Confederate veteran should receive a medal now known as “The Southern Cross of Honor.”
These were to be worn only by Confederate veterans and many were buried with their Cross.
The first Cross bestowed was in 1900 and by 1913 there were 78,761 awarded.
The last was presented in 1959 posthumously to Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes. Later, the UDC decided to honor lineal descendants of Confederate veterans who also served during war periods.
These new medals, known as Crosses of Military Service, were awarded in 1922 to World War I veterans and additional medals were designed for later wars.
Each Cross of Military Service has the color of ribbon used by the military during a particular war period, and each bronze medal is suspended from a ribbon by the entwined monogram “UDC.”
A National Defense Medal was approved in 1991, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal was approved in 1995.
Past recipients of UDC medals have included Gen. Omar Nelson Bradley, Gen. John A. LeJeune, Col. Joseph E. Wheeler, Col. Warren Jefferson Davis, Rear Admiral Thomas P. Magruder, 2nd Lt. George Edward Pickett III, Lt. Gen. George Smith Patton, Jr., Maj. Alvin C. York, Capt. James Ewell Brown Stuart II, Vice Admiral Fitzhugh Lee III, Col. Edmund Kirby-Smith, Rear Admiral Beverly Mosby Coleman and Gen. William Childs Westmoreland.

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