The eighth annual Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at
Ridgeview Memorial Park On Highway 75 between McKinney and Allen at 1:00 p.m. Monday, May 30, 2016.
Sponsored by VFW Lone Star Post 2150, of McKinney; Turrentine, Jackson, Morrow Funeral Home; and Collin County Freedom Fighters, will honor all veterans who have since passed away with a special honor for the eleven servicemen who died in the service of our country that are buried at Ridgeview. The ceremony will be MC’d by Ray Richardson, Commander of Post 2150 and will feature guest speaker Colonel Sam Wilder.
- Master of Ceremonies – RAY RICHARDSON, US Navy, Commander VFW Post 2150, Vietnam Veteran
- Opening Prayer – JAMES “BUTCH” FORD, USMC & US Air Force, Chaplain VFW Post 2150, Vietnam Veteran
- Keynote Address – COLONEL SAMUEL D. “SAM” WILDER, Jr, graduate of US Military Academy in 1961, served in Germany before deploying to Vietnam where he commanded an armored cavalry troop with the 1st Division of the Big Red One. After completing a Master’s Degree and a teaching assignment at West Point, he returned to Vietnam in 1971 as an advisor to a South Vietnamese Armored Cavalry Regiment. After completing Command and General Staff College he went on to command assignments at Ft. Bliss, Texas. After completing the Army War College he went to US Army Europe where he commanded a mechanized brigade of the 1st Infantry Div (Fwd). He also commanded the 194th Armored Brigade (Separate) at Ft. Knox, KY, which was the Army’s largest combat brigade of eight battalions (6,000 soldiers).
- Awards include: Legion of Merit (4 awards), Bronze Star (3), Bronze Star for valor (1), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Army Commendation Medal (3). Awarded Presidential Unit Citation for combat in Vietnam with the ¼ Cavalry, 1st Inf Div July-Aug 66. As a civilian, Sam has been the Executive Director of Mays & Valentine Law Firm, the 3rd largest law firm in Virginia. He has been active in veterans related organizations, including Military Officers Assn of America (MOAA) – Virginia Council President 2010-2011; Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Organizations, Virginia – Council President 2007-2008; North Texas Chapter, MOAA – founding member and President, 2015-present; Texas Council of Chapters, MOAA – Executive VP for National Legislation; Assn of US Army – VP for Legislation in Richmond Va. Chapter and N. Tx. Audie Murphy Chapter 2001-present. Representative to Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations; Awards include Outstanding Leadership/Exceptional Service from Adm Abbott, MOAA Chairman. AUSA Distinguished Service award from Gen. Gordon Sullivan, AUSA President and Congressional Veteran Commendation from Congressman Sam Johnson.
- Special Guests – North Texas Branch of MILITARY OFFICERS ASSN. of AMERICA (MOAA)
- Reading of the Names – RD FOSTER, USMC, Vietnam Veteran
- “Taps” – DALE LITTRELL
Special recognition will be given to the eleven young men buried at Ridgeview who gave their lives in the service of our country during the wars in Vietnam and Iraq:
- Specialist 5th BILLY RAY DENNIS, 34, US Army, 3 January, 1963
- Seaman 1st Class TOMMY WAYNE HARRIS, 20, US Navy, 14 May, 1965
- Corporal DARRELL “GEORGE” MAHAN, 20, USMC, 19 August, 1967
- PFC THOMAS B. HOLDBROOKS, 19, USMC, 28 December, 1967
- Corporal CHARLES W. “BILL” BRYAN, 20, USMC, 20 January, 1968
- Seaman PAUL GORDON LUNA, 18, US Navy, 8 September, 1969
- Captain RICHARD MICHAEL RYAN, 24, USAF, 20 September, 1969
- Specialist 4th Class VERNON WAYNE WOODY, 22, US Army, 30 January 1970
- Specialist 5th Class MARTIN LEROY RODGERS, 18, US Army, 26 July 1970
- Corporal TYLER SETH TROVILLION, 23, USMC, 15 June, 2005
- Lance/Corporal JACOB D. HAYES, 24, USMC, 17 December, 2008
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