Here’s another round of applause for individuals and organizations doing great things in the community.
Gen. Mike Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command, presented a Bronze Star Medal this week with Valor to an airman assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron. While deployed to Afghanistan in 2018, Staff Sgt. Aaron Metzger, 38th RQS pararescueman, engaged in action against an enemy of the United States. Despite being exposed to continuous enemy fire, Metzger ran to aid two Afghan partners who were severely injured by a grenade. Disregarding the risk to himself, he carried the two partners away from enemy fire. “I’m really proud of the work that he did,” Holmes said. “I’m honored to have a chance to come and spend some time with you today to celebrate this award for Sgt. Metzger.” During the mission, Metzger overcame significant challenges as a grenade detonated near the location he was treating personnel, causing shrapnel injuries to his right arm and chest. He remained calm in order to guide a fellow teammate to perform life-saving treatment on himself, only to be wounded a second time by gunfire. Even after being wounded a second time, Metzger remained in the fight, and refused to be carried to the medical evacuation helicopter, so personnel could focus on security.
Nearly nine years ago, 17-year-old James Eunice passed away. The young teen fell overboard from a boat and drowned at Ocean Pond in Lake Park Jan. 15, 2011. Tammy Eunice, his mother, said he “stepped into eternity.” The mother of three said she and her husband, John Eunice, think about their son each day. “I feel close to James every day,” Tammy Eunice said. “James is just as present in my thoughts as our other two children are. He never leaves my thoughts. We will miss him every day until we see him again.” In their son’s name, the Eunices have donated more than $400,000 in scholarships to what they feel are deserving high school students. “We have that hope and that confidence that we’re going to see him again, and so that’s why we can do this with purpose and passion and enthusiasm,” Tammy Eunice said. To continue funding scholarships, she and her husband will host the Eighth Annual TCT7 Swim weekend.TCT stands for The Clock is Ticking. A lunch is scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the 4-H Camp in Lake Park. Tickets are $8. A dinner is 6 p.m. Saturday at the camp. Tickets are $15. Sunday, Sept. 8, at 8 a.m., the swim begins at the camp. Check-in is at 7:30 a.m. The TCT7 Swim kicked off with a silent Facebook auction that closes Sept. 5. Items include art, gift cards, vacation getaways, baked goods, photo sessions and sports memorabilia. During the main event, swimmers will dive into Long Pond for a one-mile, a three-and-a-half-mile or seven-mile swim. The three-and-a-half-mile leg will officially be named the Capt. Mark Weber Legacy 3.5-Mile Swim.
The Valdosta North Rotary Club has announced the selection of Brian Haugabrook as president elect for the club. He will begin his term as president in July 2020, members said. Haugabrook is a chief information officer and IT executive. He has been named among Computerworld’s 2015 Premier 100 IT Leaders and selected as a member of the University System of Georgia College 2025 committee.