Gloria Calverley of Little River knows that it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to show patriotism, and she has taken charge of helping her community of Heather Lakes set an example on Memorial Day. For the second year, motorcyclists will ride through Heather Lakes in a “Roaring Tribute” prior to a light breakfast and ceremony at the Heather Lakes clubhouse.
The Heather Lakes ride is organized by Kris Tourtellotte, director of the Veterans Welcome Home & Resource Center. After Heather Lakes, a second ride will go to Memorial Gardens for the annual Memorial Day ceremony there. In Heather Lakes, off U.S. 17 at the north edge of Little River, the motorcyclists will stop briefly at the home of retired Air Force general Howard Alsop. “Last year, we rode by the general’s house; this year we’re going to stop and salute him,” Tourtellotte says.
The motorcyclists will ride through a “Pathway of Honor” of U.S. flags displayed approximately every 10 feet from the entrance off U.S. 17 into the community. Resident Fred Pitre will lead the ride on a decorated dune buggy. The breakfast also is a fundraiser for the center; food is donated and residents pay for breakfast. Last year the breakfast raised $1,000 for the center.
“We are very grateful to our veterans and soldiers,” Calverley says, noting the community includes several retired military families. Her husband, Clifford, is a retired Army sergeant first class who served two tours in Vietnam. Three sons served in the military and their eldest grandson is a career soldier just back from Afghanistan.
“It doesn’t take much to put up a flag, or tell a veteran ‘Thank you for your service,’ ” she says. It’s a patriotic point well taken, and especially during the next several days.
Injured combat veterans in rehabilitation at military medical centers in the Washington area and North Carolina arrive Friday for a holiday visit to the area and participation in Military Appreciation Days in Myrtle Beach. A welcome party is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the 2001 Night Club on Lake Arrowhead Road, Myrtle Beach. Sharon Russell, coordinator of Operation Welcome Home of Myrtle Beach, says about three dozen veterans are expected from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., and medical centers at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The wounded warriors visit is again compliments of Christina Shealy’s Scents for Soldiers, a 501(c)(3) organization she formed after a visit to the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The name comes from holiday scents such as pumpkin pie.
Since the first visit three years ago, Shealy has had tremendous support from many businesses and organizations. One prime example is the Grand Strand Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, which is again sponsoring a float for the visiting veterans in the parade on Saturday.
“They really enjoy being in the parade,” says MOAA chapter Roger Pilcher. MOAA is also sponsoring two breakfasts.
A day on the water is scheduled Sunday, provided by Tammie Boger’s Adventure Cruises of Garden City Beach. The visitors will be at the Memorial Day Ceremony Monday and a goodbye party at the Beaver Bar in Murrells Inlet with catering by Texas Roadhouse. A tip of the hat to Shealy and the many sponsors who make the visits happen.