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Something worth cheering

Article was added on Friday, June 01, 2012

Floyd L. Keels - ThumbnailLAST MONTH in South Carolina Living, we highlighted the April 11 cooperative-sponsored Honor Flight for South Carolina World War II veterans. There wasn't space to share all the great stories of our Greatest Generation - the South Carolina men and women who, literally, saved the world.

We're making up for it this month by featuring, on the facing page, a sample from a new book that profiles all 100 Honor Flight S.C. heroes. Publishing this commemorative book is another way that SEC and other electric co-ops around the state seek to honor them. Included are profiles of local Honor Flight participants E.C. Carr, W.J. Stoudenmire, Paul D. Poston, Ruffin Bacot, Ed Shelby, John H. Carnell, Zola Godwin, Samuel D. Anderson and William P. Harrison.

Mr. Harrison, profiled on page 5, was the oldest veteran on the Honor Flight. Apart from his willingness to serve his country, he's someone who made a huge impact on the lives of many people in our area - including me. An educator, Mr. Harrison was the principal of Wilson Elementary School, which I attended from fourth to eighth grade.

We were honored to help Mr. Harrison and the other area veterans see the National World War II Memorial and other monuments in Washington.  Also along for the whirlwind, one-day D.C. trip were two Santee Electric Cooperative employees who were among the volunteer guardians assisting the WWII vets that day, Manager of Marketing Jay Kirby and Manager of Operations Jason Springs.

Jason, a 1999 graduate of The Citadel, says, "It was a great experience for me just to be able to spend the time with them. To hear these guys talk about what they did and what they went through, it was an eye-opening experience. Their lives just got put on hold to go do what they had to do."

After the Honor Flight, Jason notes, a huge group - including a military band - welcomed the returning heroes home at the Columbia airport. The star-spangled reception capped off, as one WWII veteran later described it, "the greatest day of my life."

Jason adds, "As excited and honored as most of those veterans were, you could see it in their eyes that they really appreciated what everybody did for them. It really meant a lot to them. But as much as it meant to them, it meant just as much to me to see them get that honor and be recognized for what they did. I was glad to be a part of it."

Want to honor these heroes yourself? Read our commemorative Honor Flight book. You'll be inspired by the sacrifices so willingly made by these great Americans.

Floyd L. Keels
President & Chief Executive Officer

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