GMC News

Rest in Honored Glory: By William B. Caldwell, IV

Rest in Honored Glory
An Opinion Piece by Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, President of Georgia Military College

As published by the Union Recorder


Paul “Skip” Lawing loved dogs and was known around his hometown for his basketball skills.  Johnny “The Fox” Wheeler was a singer and guitar player with a thick Georgia accent. Oscar Higginbotham had sisters who loved him and who always called him “Buster.”

These are just a few members of the Georgia Military College family who gave their lives in service to our nation. We lost four in Iraq and Afghanistan, eight in Vietnam, one in Korea, 63 in World War II, and ten in World War I.

Today and every day, GMC is proud to honor the courage, service, and sacrifice of our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day serves as a stark reminder that freedom isn’t cheap.  We’ve paid in the lives of our loved ones.  We’ve paid in the blood of the courageous shed on our homeland in places like Camden and Brandywine, Antietam and Shiloh. And overseas in places like Saint-Mihiel, Normandy, Saigon, Kabul, and Baghdad.  Allowing those sacrifices to be swallowed up by time would be a sin against our fallen heroes, against our nation, and against the American ideals for which they gave their lives.

Sergeant Paul “Skip” wasn’t just a dog lover and basketball player.  He was a Green Beret, and he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. His beloved dog Sandbag made it home from Vietnam and attended his funeral.  Specialist Johnny Wheeler, the guitar player with the thick Georgia accent, was also a Screaming Eagle from the 101st Airborne’s 327th Infantry. He was killed on his 27th birthday when he crawled into enemy fire to save his wounded Lieutenant.   And Corporal Oscar “Buster” Higginbotham was still a teenager when he made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Today, please join me in saying to them, and to the rest of our nation’s fallen heroes, “We remember you.  We remember that you served with courage, dedication, and honor.  We remember that you fought as if America’s future and the freedom of her people depended upon you alone.  And we remember that you put yourself in harm’s way and never came home.  May you rest in honored glory, you amazing American Soldiers.”