Gold Star Memorial

The Gold Star families monument will be the next memorial added to the Florence Veterans Park.

FLORENCE, S.C. – A fundraiser for the Gold Star Monument to be unveiled this Veteran's Day at the Florence Veterans Park will be held Thursday at the Elks Club on Jody Road.

People, organizations and businesses who have already donated to the monument will be invited to attend at 6:30 p.m. At 7:30, non-donors can enter.

The program will include short remarks from two Medal of Honor recipients, opportunities for photos and autographs and the chance to meet American heroes, said organizer U.S. Army Col. (R) Barry Wingard said.

Col. (R) Walter J. "Joe" Marm earned his Medal of Honor in 1966 as a Second Lieutenant in Vietnam in the Ia Drang Valley.

CSM (R) Robert M. "Bob" Patterson earned his Medal of Honor as a Specialist 4th Class in 1968 in Vietnam near Hue City.

Marm is a native of Washington, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Fremont, North Carolina.

Patterson was born in Durham, North Carolina, and now lives in Pensacola, Florida.

There are only 71 living Medal of Honor recipients.

There will also be an auction, during which a football signed by 36 Medal of Honor recipients will be available as well as a copy of the book, "We Were Soldiers Once ... And Young," by Joe Galloway, that has been signed by the speakers.

For more information on the monument or the event, contact Wingard at bfwingardjr@aol.com.

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