G.V. 'Sonny' Montgomery Patriot Award recipient, Wesley Tillman Roebuck (standing right) with his wife, Pam Roebuck and grandson, Holder Tidwell.
G.V. 'Sonny' Montgomery Patriot Award recipient, Wesley Tillman Roebuck (standing right) with his wife, Pam Roebuck and grandson, Holder Tidwell.
By Mike Robertson

Kemper County Messenger  



Wesley Tillman Roebuck was awarded the G.V. ‘Sonny’ Montgomery Patriot Award last Wednesday at the annual Kemper County Independence Day ceremony. A Kemper County native, Roebuck served one tour during the Korean War and three tours during the Vietnam Conflict.

Roebuck enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in July 1948, at the age of 17. During his military career, Roebuck received many awards and honors including: the Presidential Citation, Combat Action Ribbon, Korean Service Medal, Purple Heart, Silver Star, United Nations Medal Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and many more.

Roebuck traveled the world as Security Guard for Secretary of State John Foster Dulles until his death in 1959, and continued his duties with Secretary of State Christian Archibald Herter. In 1964 he was named Marine Corps Drill Instructor of the Year, and as drill instructor, Sgt. Roebuck lead the first platoon to ever receive perfect marksmanship.

Roebuck spoke briefly of how honored he was to receive the award and for the privilege to serve his country.

The ceremony began with an invocation by Bernard ‘Joe’ Hulin, followed by the raising of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance by the Kemper County High School JROTC. Robert Bohannon gave a stirring rendition of the National Anthem.

Guest speaker, 1st Class Nicholas P. Anderson spoke of the writing of the National Anthem and its inspiration as the British attacked Fort McHenry, in the Chesapeake Bay, during the War of 1812. It was discovered, after the battle, that the flag was held in place by the bodies of the patriots who died during the siege.

State Rep. Michael Ted Evans spoke of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, and the hardships they suffered during and after the Revolutionary War.

Larry Gibson offered a Prayer of Remembrance followed by the laying of the wreath by Harold Moore and Cmdr. Everett McShephard of VFW Post 5042.