Members of the John B. Gordon Chapter 383 UDC were honored to present the Vietnam Cross of Military Service Medal posthumously to a Vietnam service veteran who served the country in the Vietnam conflict and died in the line of service. The service was held November 8 at Trinity Baptist Church, Thomasville.
Dianne Ponder led the assembly, assisted by pianist Wanda Council, in singing the National Anthem. Invocation was given by Charlotte Brown.
President Sheila Tucker and Dianne Ponder, Recorder of Military Service Awards, presented Vietnam Cross of Military Service Medal Posthumously to H. Marcus Thornton, brother of Lynwood Keeton Thornton, Medal No. 4256 who served in the U.S. Army as private first class in Company B, 3rd Battalion ,7th Infantry, 199th Infantry Brigade. Private Thornton being a lineal descendant of James L. Ford, who served honorably as a private in Company A, 51st Regiment Georgia Infantry, in the War Between the States.
Private Thornton was awarded the Bronze Star on May 22, 2019 and the certificate reads: “For exceptionally meritorious achievement on 17 January 1970 in Long Khanh Province of South Vietnam. By his example of courage and sacrifice an enemy force was driven off and other members of his platoon were saved from an enemy ambush. Private First Class Thornton’s actions are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and bring great credit upon him, the 199th Infantry Brigade, and the United States Army.”
The Cross of Military Service Medal is a testimonial to the patriotic devotion of worthy CSA soldiers and sailors and their lineal descendants who served in the armed forces during the Korean War or Vietnam Conflict. They have served where they were ordered and the UDC acknowledges their loyalty and patriotic devotion to the country.
It was a privilege to have presented this medal, which symbolizes a loyal devotion to duty and which has been earned by courage and bravery in the discharge of that duty. As a representative of the UDC, President Tucker expressed that the Cross of Military Service Medal was given into the recipient’s hand for safe keeping and was asked to treasure it.
The service was concluded with the benediction by Pastor Ken Burgess and “Taps” was performed by trumpeter John Gray, who is a 2015 Cross of Military Service recipient.