The following is a press release from the City of North Charleston.
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The City of North Charleston will host its annual Veterans Day tribute on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Park Circle featuring Vietnam War veteran Lt. Col. Clebe McClary as keynote speaker. We ask veterans and the public to join Mayor R. Keith Summey and City Council in this special ceremony. Last year, over 500 veterans in attendance were honored.
The Department of Defense and the Veterans Day National Committee once again selected North Charleston as a Regional Site for Veterans Day 2014. North Charleston is one of two regional sites in the State of South Carolina and has received this designation for 4 consecutive years.
All veterans in attendance will be recognized and will receive a specially designed commemorative coin. To receive a coin, veterans are urged to RSVP no later than November 4 to (843) 740-5801, (843) 745-1028 or via email at [email protected]
Prior to the ceremony, from 9:30 am – 10:30 am, a story swap will be held in the Felix Davis Community Center. Veterans will have an open opportunity to share memories and stories about their service with fellow veterans. The story swap is open to the public. Veterans wishing to speak should RSVP to (843) 740-5850.
A new component for this year’s Veterans Day event will be added from the 1st Combat Camera Squadron, who will provide a photo display from the perspective of the Air Force during past wartime strategic, operational, worldwide crises, contingencies, joint exercises and humanitarian operations. The 1st Combat Camera Squadron is a tenant unit at Joint Base Charleston, and the largest active duty combat camera unit in the Air Force. Combat Camera acquires still and motion imagery in support of classified and unclassified air, sea, and ground military operations.
Once again, lunch for all of the event attendees will be provided immediately following the ceremony.
Keynote Speaker - Lt. Col. Clebe McClary, USMC (Ret)
Lt. Col. Clebe McClary was raised on a 10,000 acre plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry, growing up hunting, fishing and excelling at sports.
After fulfilling his dream of becoming a college coach, Clebe had plans to marry a beautiful Southern belle. Life was very good, but only weeks before the wedding (March 26, 1967), Clebe witnessed a startling event on a college campus that changed the course of his life forever - the burning of an American flag by students protesting the Vietnam conflict.
Dismayed by the lack of support for the country he loved, Clebe resigned from his coaching position and volunteered for duty in the Marine Corps. He completed Officers Training School in Quantico, Virginia, becoming platoon leader of the 1st Recon Battalion in Vietnam.
On his 19th recon patrol, deep in hostile territory, Clebe and his unit engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy. During the fight, he suffered devastating injuries, losing his left arm and left eye, but Clebe continued to lead his men.
Clebe's valiant battle with the pain and disabilities that followed is nothing short of amazing. He spent over two years in military hospitals, undergoing over 30 major surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. Since then, Clebe has used his powerful story of courage, determination and strength to motivate audiences the world over.