June 2022 Veteran of the Month – Lt. Col. Tony A. Helms
Published 3:34 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Submitted by his granddaughter
Lt. Col. Helms graduated from East Rowan High School as of the first graduating class and obtained his Bachelor’s degree in History from East Tennessee State University. He furthered his education at North Carolina A&T University where he received his Master’s degree in Public School Administration and later with UNC’s Principals Executive Management Program.
A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Lt. Col. Helms served his country for over 28 years. He served three tours of duty in Vietnam during which he served as helicopter crew chief and fixed-wing aviation Ordnanceman. Due to his service and sacrifice in Vietnam, Lt. Col. Helms received a Purple Heart. He was also the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Medal, Presidential Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Citation, Combat Action Ribbon and Meritorious Unit Citation. Following his service, Lt. Col. Helms worked in public education for 30 years, working in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Iredell-Statesville Schools, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and most recently with Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center.
Lt. Col. Helms was a longtime Mason, having a lifetime membership in Kintal Lodge No. 16 in Japan and locally at Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 576. He enjoyed camping and playing golf, loved his family and grandchildren.
Tony was always one to help and put others first his lifelong dedication to helping others is what always stood out to me. He was highly respected in Salisbury by residents and prior students.
You can submit veterans of the month at www.salisburypost.com/veterans