The freedoms America enjoys – and often takes for granted – are largely due to the selfless sacrifice of its military veterans.
And the metro Augusta area can be proud to have produced generations of those heroes during its long and rich history.
Today, the city is best known as the home of Fort Gordon, the Army's preeminent post for electronic warfare and intelligence-gathering missions.
But Augusta's military history goes all the way back to the city's founding in 1736, when British General James Oglethorpe helped establish the city along the Savannah River. Those soldiers and their descendants would later be called on to defend the city against the Spanish, French and –after the American Revolution – the British themselves.
Decades later Augustans would answer the call of duty during the Civil War, a lamentable period in the nation's history but one that gave this city some of its most enduring landmarks, including the Augusta Arsenal and the old Confederate Powderworks chimney along the Augusta Canal.
The arsenal remained a crucial asset for the growing nation during the Spanish-American War and World War I, though its most valuable contribution may have been during World War II, when metro Augusta veterans were fighting against enemies bent on nothing short of global domination.
The postwar years, when the Army's Camp Gordon was elevated to Fort Gordon, helped cement the city's reputation as a military town and resulted in tens of thousands of area servicemembers getting deployed in conflicts ranging from the Korean and Vietnam wars to the ongoing fight against global terrorism.
We hope you enjoy this special section of The Augusta Chronicle, and that our recognition of just a handful of local veterans can serve as a tribute to the men and women of the armed forces everywhere this Veterans Day.