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home : news : news November 25, 2017

10/5/2017 12:57:00 AM
MOH Winners At Citizens Center Friday
Joel Tavera...now and then
Joel Tavera...now and then

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Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


Two Medal of Honor recipients, Retired Colonel Joe Marm and Retired Sergeant Major Robert Patterson, will speak at the James W. Warren Citizens Center this Friday along with Joel Tavera, a wounded warrior who lost his sight, his right leg, part of his skull and some of his fingers while serving in Iraq in 2008.

Dale Punch, who began bringing Medal of Honor winners to Lincoln County years ago on behalf of the American Legion, has continued the program each year. In previous years, the event has been held at North Lincoln High School, but this year it will be at the Citizens Center and is open to all schools and to the public.

Joe Marm received his Medal of Honor for valor in a Vietnam War battle in 1965. Originally from Pennsylvania, he now lives in North Carolina.

Bob Patterson is the only living Medal of Honor recipient who was born in North Carolina. He, too, won the Medal of Honor for heroism in a Vietnam War battle in 1968.

Tavera was driving a Humvee that was struck by a rocket. He was burned over 60 percent of his body and suffered the disabilities previously listed, but has managed to remain active all the same.

“He hunts, fishes, skydives and is a full-time college student,” said Punch. "He's an inspiration."

Both Marm and Patterson are scheduled to be presented the key to the city by Mayor Ed Hatley at the Lincolnton City Council meeting Thursday night.

The Friday event at the James W. Warren Citizens Center, 115 West Main Street in Lincolnton will begin at 10 AM and is free to attend.




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