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UDC patriotic service will be held Saturday at Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY —  A patriotic service honoring eight military veterans will be held Saturday by Robert F. Hoke Chapter 78 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The eight veterans have ancestors who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Government, state, and POW-MIA flags will be displayed at the service, as well as those of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.

The public is invited to the service, which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in Stanback Auditorium of the Rowan Public Library, 201 W. Fisher St.

Hoke Chapter President Sue Curtis and Nancy Sloop, recorder of military service awards, will bestow Crosses of Military Service or National Defense Medals to the veterans using the UDC ritual.

Patriotic music will be presented by pianist Gwen Sembroski. Past recipients of patriotic UDC medals will be recognized.

Navy veteran Ed Curtis will be the guest speaker. He is a retired veterans employment representative with the N.C. Employment Security Commission. In 1992, he received a Cross of Military Service at the N.C. Division Convention of the UDC held in Salisbury.

Curtis’ great-great-grandfather, Edward Jesse Bray, enlisted in Randolph County in March 1862 and served in Company. G, 46th North Carolina Infantry, until dying of disease in May 1864.

Those attending Saturday’s service are invited to bring personal care items for hospitalized veterans at the Salisbury Hefner VA Medical Center. Shampoo, liquid soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, shaving cream and other items will be turned over to the VA Voluntary Service Office. Anyone interested in contributing but who is not able to attend can send a donation to the Hoke Chapter at P.O. Box 83, Salisbury, NC 28145-0083.

The following veterans will be awarded military service medals from the UDC:

• George Atlas Aldridge of Concord, who served in the Army, will receive a Korean War Cross of Military Service Medal.

His grandfather, Anthony Graeber Bost, entered service at Cabarrus County in March 1864 and served in Company H, 8th Regiment N.C. Infantry. He was wounded in June 1864 at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia. In February 1865, he was hospitalized in Charlotte.

• Joe Eric Cox of Kannapolis, who served in the Marine Corps, will receive a Vietnam Cross of Military Service Medal.

His great-great-grandfather, Jesse D. Cox, entered service at Cabarrus County in March 1863 and served in Company E, 59th Regiment N.C. Troops (4th Regiment N.C. Cavalry).

• Rodney Gene Cress of Salisbury, who served in the Army, will receive a Vietnam Cross of Military Service Medal.  His great-great-grandfather, John M. Bostian, entered service at Salisbury in October 1862 and served in Company G, 42nd Regiment N.C. Infantry until May 1865.

• Jerry Wayne Fagan of Kannapolis, an Army veteran, will receive a Vietnam Cross of Military Service Medal.  His great-grandfather, Lilleton M. Fagan, entered service at Homer, Banks County, Georgia, in August 1861 and served in Company A, 24th Regiment Georgia Infantry until April 1865.

• Thomas Dell Harrell Jr. of Salisbury, an Army Air Corps veteran, will receive a World War II Cross of Military Service Medal.

His great-grandfather, James A. Harrell, entered service at Pearisburg, Virginia, in April 1862 and served in Company D, 45th Regiment Virginia Infantry. As a POW, James Harrell was paroled at Camp Morton, Indiana, and transferred to City Point, Virginia, for exchange in March 1865.

• Charles Michael McLain of Concord, an Army veteran, will receive a Vietnam Cross of Military Service Medal.

His great-great-grandfather, Allen Lackey, entered service at Alexander County in November 1861 and served in Company G, 38th Regiment N.C. Infantry until his death in March 1862 at Petersburg, Virginia.

• Steven Dwayne Norris of Concord, an Army veteran, will receive a National Defense Medal for his service in the Persian Gulf (Desert Shield/Desert Storm).

His great-great-great-great-grandfather, Charles D. Norris, entered service at Conwayboro, South Carolina, in October 1863 and served in Company D, 3rd S.C. State Troops.

• Ted Lynn Scott of Concord, an Army veteran, will receive a National Defense Medal for his service during the Korean War.

His great-grandfather, A.M.A. Klutts, entered service at Rowan County in July 1862 and served in Company C, 57th Regiment N.C. Infantry. He died in camp near Port Royal, Virginia, in February 1863.

In 1898, the UDC resolved that every Confederate veteran should receive a medal. The small bronze medal in the shape of a Maltese Cross was known as the Southern Cross of Honor and was first bestowed in 1900.

By 1913, there were 78,761 awarded, with the last being presented posthumously in 1959 to Rear Adm. Raphael Semmes, CSN.  A replica of a Southern Cross will be displayed Saturday.

In 1922, the UDC began recognizing lineal descendants of Confederate veterans who served during other wars. Most of the Crosses of Military Service now being bestowed by the UDC are for veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terror, although a few remain for World War I veterans.

The Spanish American War Cross of Military Service and the Philippine Insurrection Cross of Military Service have both been retired.

In 1970, a Certificate of Appreciation was approved for veterans whose service fell between named wars, conflicts and operations. In 1991, the National Defense Medal was designed for those who served during the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf and Global War on Terror but who were not in country.

In 1995, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was created to recognize those who served in the armed forces on active duty in designated areas and on specific dates of operation.

The Meritorious Service Medal was established in 2001 for collateral descendants of Confederate veterans who served during a war period.

For each medal, a four-page application must be filled out by the chapter with paperwork showing honorable service by the veteran and his Confederate ancestor. Images of all UDC military medals will be displayed Saturday.

In April, the UDC chapter honored veterans attending the 20th annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium and held memorial services for POWs who died at the Salisbury Prison and the Salisbury Prison guards who died while on duty.

During the month of May, the Hoke Chapter recognizes veterans on North Carolina Confederate Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day.

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