Two grand events coming up this week

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The first week of October will be very special for many Americans who will be in Augusta to attend two different events.

On Thursday, Oct. 4, at a Hall of Fame dinner at Enterprise Mill, the Academy of Richmond County will honor 12 distinguished Americans who graduated from or contributed mightily to this historic institution. In Richmond Academy’s 229 years, this is the first time a Hall of Fame has been established.

The individuals who have been chosen have very impressive records:

• Gen. James Longstreet was a hero of the Mexican War; an outstanding corps commander during the Civil War; and an ambassador to Turkey after that war.

• Joseph Lamar was a prominent attorney and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1911 to 1916.

• Carl Sanders was a prominent attorney, legislator and, from 1962 to 1966, governor of Georgia.

• Jimmie Dyess was the recipient of America’s two highest awards for heroism, the Carnegie Medal and the Medal of Honor.

• Frank Hull is an esteemed jurist; she has served for 15 years as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

• Bennie Ward is an outstanding researcher, scholar and educator in the field of high-energy physics.

• Forrest Grady “Spec” Towns won the Olympic Gold Medal winner in 1936 for the 110-meter hurdles.

• Pat Dye has been a renowned college football coach and athletic director, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

• Frank Inman was a highly successful football coach both at ARC and the University of Georgia.

• A. L. Williams was a legendary baseball coach whose “boys” won a record seven consecutive state baseball titles. From 1948 to 1983, Williams served Richmond Academy as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal and principal.

• Judy Woodruff has been an Emmy Award-winning reporter and anchorwoman for NBC and CNN, and most recently for public television.

• Jacqueline Marshall was a gifted and giving teacher at Richmond Academy for more than 30 years.

In attendance Thursday will be Pat Dye, Judge Hull and Dr. Ward. Tickets are available, but you should act fast if you wish to attend this very special event. The dinner will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fat Man’s Cafe at Enterprise Mill. Brad Means will be the master of ceremonies. Dress is business attire, and the cost is $30. Tickets are either at Fat Man’s Cafe or at Surrey Center Pharmacy. Questions? Contact Jim Pardue at jimpardue@comcast.net.

THE OTHER IMPORTANT event will take place at Fort Gordon on Oct. 5-7. Jimmie Dyess Days will be a Scout camporee for more than 2,500 scouts and their leaders. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts will come from all over the Southeast.

The three-day event will offer a variety of competitions and learning opportunities.

• The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 6, with music from the 434th U.S. Army Signal Corps Band; the band will teach music from a booth to interested Scouts.

• Soldiers from the 35th Signal Brigade are providing operations tents for the Scouts and will show off their radio communications skills.

• The Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center will provide first-aid training.

• Soldiers of the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade will display their unmanned aerial vehicle.

• Sailors from the Navy Information Operations Command, Georgia, will demonstrate their survival water skills in the indoor pool on Brainard Avenue.

• The U.S. Coast Guard plans to bring their rigid inflatable boat and helicopter.

• Soldiers of the 15th Signal Brigade will teach computer skills. Scouts will get to shoot on the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000.

• Marines will teach Scouts about backpacking and preparing for a hike.

• Fort Gordon firefighters will bring out their fire trucks and the safety smoke house.

• German, French and Canadian Liaison noncommissioned and commissioned officers plan to set up exhibits to share the rich culture of their countries with the Scouts.

• Older Scouts will get an opportunity to rappel with members of the Youth Challenge Academy.

• The mayor of Augusta and a commissioner from Columbia County will talk to Scouts about the meaning of civic duty.

Col. Jeff Lepak, who has led the team that has spent more than a year planning this event, says, “We encourage boys (who) are not in Scouting to check us out. They are more than welcome to see what Scouting is all about.” The best day to come will be Saturday.

The event is named in honor of Marine Lt. Col. Jimmie Dyess, whom I mentioned above. Dyess was an Eagle Scout whose hometown was Augusta.

Questions? Contact Jeff Lepak at jeffrey.j.lepak.mil@mail.mil, or call the Boy Scout office at (706) 733-5277.

(The writer – a retired U.S. Air Force major general – serves on the boards of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the Augusta Warrior Project and the Augusta Museum of History. His email is genpsmith@aol.com. His web site is genpsmith.com.)

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