HOMETOWN HEROES

Hometown Heroes

  • Hometown Heroes - Brentwood

    Hometown Heroes: Margaret Morrata, Jocelyn Taylor and her mother Jeanette Veile

    April 15, 2013

    O’Charley's recognized three local teachers as Hometown Heroes at the reopening celebration of their Brentwood location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Springfield

    Hometown Heroes: Evan and Jenny Owens

    April 16, 2013

    O’Charley’s honored husband and wife Evan and Jenny Owens, founders of non-profit organization REBOOT Recovery, as Hometown Heroes at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Springfield location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Murfreesboro

    Hometown Heroes: Tom Henry

    April 23, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized Tom Henry, Executive Director of Feed America First (FAF), a nonprofit hunger relief organization, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Murfreesboro location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Bellevue

    Hometown Heroes: Metro Police Officer Al Walls and Michael "Todd" Upchurch

    April 23, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized two Metro officers, both Bellevue natives who assisted and rescued others during the 2010 flood, as Hometown Heroes at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bellevue location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Jacksonville

    Hometown Heroes: Major David Moorefield

    May 6, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized 23-year Marine veteran Major David Moorefield, President of DAK Resources, Inc. which assists any and all military veterans as they transition from the military to private sector, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Jacksonville location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Hendersonville

    Hometown Heroes: David Moomy

    May 6, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Navy veteran and involved Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) member David Moomy as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Hendersonville location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Gallatin

    Hometown Heroes: Jim Flockencier and Bill Annett

    May 6, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized two veterans for their service to the country and local community as Hometown Heroes at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Gallatin location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Lebanon

    Hometown Heroes: Richard “Doc” Kraft

    May 7, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized 28-year U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Richard “Doc” Kraft as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Lebanon location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Murfreesboro

    Hometown Heroes: Daryl Mackin

    May 7, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized Daryl Mackin, a U.S Navy veteran and Executive Director of A Soldier’s Child Foundation (ASC) as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Murfreesboro location. This O’Charley’s is among the first of several restaurants nationwide to undergo a revitalization and reimaging plan that features refurbished store interiors/exteriors and updated menu items.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Orange Park

    Hometown Heroes: Tyrinda “Ty” Dixon

    May 13, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Tyrinda “Ty” Dixon, Warriors to Work Specialist with the Wounded Warrior Project, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Orange Park location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Mt. Juliet

    Hometown Heroes: David McDonough

    May 13, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David McDonough for his service to the country and local community as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Mt. Juliet location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Clarksville

    Hometown Heroes: Tommy Dennis

    May 13, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Tommy Dennis, Post Commander at VFW Post 11160 in Clarksville, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Clarksville location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Columbia

    Hometown Heroes: James Patterson

    May 14, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran James Patterson for his service to the country and continued service to fellow veterans as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Columbia location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Hopkinsville

    Hometown Heroes: Lindell Pleasant

    May 21, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army Private First Class Lindell Pleasant as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Hopkinsville location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Manchester

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Navy and Vietnam veteran Gene Stillings

    May 28, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Navy and Vietnam veteran Gene Stillings as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Manchester location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Bowling Green

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran David Angle

    June 3, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran David Angle as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bowling Green location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Pigeon Forge

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Albert King

    June 4, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Albert King, a military serviceman of 22 years, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Pigeon Forge location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Bristol

    Hometown Heroes: Vietnam veteran Joe Cunningham

    June 10, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized Vietnam veteran Joe Cunningham as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bristol location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Knoxville

    Hometown Heroes: John L. Dyess

    June 11, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized John L. Dyess, one of two Army Reserve Ambassadors to Tennessee, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Kingston Pike, Knoxville location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Spring Hill

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran Tina Heath

    June 17, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Tina Heath as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Spring Hill location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Knoxville

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran John Wolfe

    June 18, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran John Wolfe as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s South Mall Road location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Kingsport

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran Gerald Cardwell

    June 24, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Gerald Cardwell as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Kingsport location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Clarksville

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran Don McCasland

    July 1, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized 21-year U.S. Army veteran Don McCasland, Programs Director with Soldiers And Families Embraced (SAFE), a Clarksville-based nonprofit offering individual and group counseling services, as well as peer support groups for active duty soldiers, veterans and their families.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Knoxville

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran James William McGinnis

    July 2, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran James William McGinnis as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Cedar Lane location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Alcoa

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Marine veteran Brian Robbins

    July 9, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Marine Corps veteran of five-and-a-half years Brian Robbins as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Alcoa location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Knoxville

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army Master Sergeant Michael Trost

    July 22, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized 18-year U.S. Army Master Sergeant Michael Trost as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Parkside Drive location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Morristown

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Theodore Shambeau

    July 22, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Theodore Shambeau, currently the Morristown Navy Recruiter, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Morristown location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Cordova

    Hometown Heroes: Darryl Greenwood

    August 6, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Marine Corps Recruiter and Memphis native Sergeant Darryl Greenwood as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Cordova location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Bartlett

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Navy veteran Randy Durham

    August 13, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized 26-year U.S. Navy veteran Randy Durham as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bartlett location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Acworth

    Hometown Heroes: John Graves, James Easterly, Donald Henry, Jermaine Henry and Lorel Davis

    August 26, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized three military veterans and two active duty service members across five different wars as Hometown Heroes. All five honorees are members of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5408 in Acworth.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Snellville

    Hometown Heroes: James Lynch

    August 27, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized James Lynch, Vietnam veteran and Quartermaster at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 4180, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Scenic Highway North location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - McDonough

    Hometown Heroes: John Marvin Helton

    September 10, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized John Marvin Helton, 26-year United States Air Force veteran, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Jonesboro Road location.

  • Hometown Heroes - Breckenridge

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Marine Corps veteran Bob Unger

    September 23, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Marine Corps veteran Bob Unger as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Breckenridge Lane location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Elizabethtown

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran Mauhee Edmondson

    September 24, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Mauhee Edmondson, a Hardin County native, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Elizabethtown location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Corydon

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army veteran Jesse Paschal

    October 1, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized Elizabeth, Indiana native and U.S. Army veteran Jesse Paschal as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Pacer Drive location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Richmond

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jack Ditmer

    October 21, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized 13-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jack Ditmer as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Richmond location.
    Read More >

  • Hometown Heroes - Frankfort

    Hometown Heroes: U.S. Army and Air Force veteran Leroy Spalding

    October 22, 2013

    O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army and Air Force veteran Leroy Spalding as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Frankfort location.
    Read More >

April 15, 2013

Brentwood Celebration

BrentwoodO’Charley’s recognized three local teachers as Hometown Heroes at the reopening celebration of their Brentwood location.

Margaret Morrata is a special education teacher at Ravenwood High School. Morrata is passionate about working with special needs students and has led several programs that integrate these students with their peers. She is the special education adviser for the Best Buddies program. Best Buddies is an international organization that fosters friendships between students with disabilities and their peers. They have more than 20 buddy pairs at Ravenwood High School. Under Morrata’s leadership, the Best Buddies program at Ravenwood High School was named Outstanding High School Chapter in the state of Tennessee. Morrata is also one of the founders and head coach for the Ravenwood Kickball program, which enables students with disabilities to have the experience of competing on a high school athletic team with their peers.

Brentwood

Jocelyn Taylor and her mother Jeanette Veile are both teachers at Tusculum Elementary. The school has a sizable immigrant population and a large percentage of their students struggle with English. With 96 percent of students at the elementary school receiving free or reduced lunch, the mother-daughter team realized that their students were not receiving adequate meals and were losing their English skills over the summer. They gave up their summer break to set up and run a program to feed and work with these students five days a week throughout the summer. They served 2,512 meals last summer. Jocelyn and Veile will be resuming their summer program and welcome support from the community.


April 16, 2013

Springfield Celebration

O’Charley’s honored husband and wife Evan and Jenny Owens, founders of non-profit organization REBOOT Recovery, as Hometown Heroes at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Springfield location. Evan Owens is certified in ministering to soldiers and families dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Jenny is a licensed occupational therapist specializing in mild traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Both hold full-time jobs outside of REBOOT Recovery. The 12-week program is designed to help service members and their families heal from the spiritual wounds of combat and war. Topics discussed at meetings include grief, guilt, re-establishing one’s identity, connecting with people who can help, and forgiveness among others. The restaurant also held a ribbon-cutting with the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce and local dignitaries.

April 23, 2013

Murfreesboro Celebration

 

O’Charley’s recognized Tom Henry, Executive Director of Feed America First (FAF), a non-profit hunger relief organization, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Murfreesboro location.

 

Henry worked in the restaurant industry for 30 years before feeling compelled to use his business skills and experience for the aid of those in need. With the organization’s warehouse located in Murfreesboro, FAF collects large-scale food donations from manufacturers, growers, distributors and other charities to distribute to about 200 agencies engaged in hunger relief. An estimated 22,000 families receive food from FAF each month, all because of Tom’s vision several years ago. Since its establishment in 2000, FAF has distributed almost 30 million pounds of food in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama among other states.

With a staff of four, donations and volunteers play a big role in FAF’s success. In addition to Tom Henry’s recognition as a Hometown Hero, long-time FAF volunteers Rob and Patti Carpenter and Nick and Kitty Masters were also honored.

April 30, 2013

Bellevue Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized two Metro officers, both Bellevue natives who assisted and rescued others during the 2010 flood, as Hometown Heroes at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bellevue location. Metro Police Officer Al Walls saved several elderly and sick Bellevue residents when he left his vehicle to be flooded. Walls was off-duty at the time. Alongside him in these efforts was Metro Officer Michael “Todd” Upchurch, an officer at the West Precinct. Both men sacrificed their own belongings to the flood as they rescued their Bellevue neighbors who were unable to escape their homes.

May 6, 2013

Jacksonville Celebration

O’Charley’s will recognize 23-year Marine veteran Major David Moorefield, President of DAK Resources, Inc. which assists any and all military veterans as they transition from the military to private sector, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Jacksonville location. This O’Charley’s is among the first of several restaurants nationwide to undergo a revitalization and reimaging plan that features refurbished store interiors/exteriors and updated menu items.

Major Moorefield served 22 of his 23 years as a Marine on active duty. Beginning his career as a Private, he served as an electrician and heavy machine gunner while finishing college and receiving his degree. Major Moorefield worked his way up to Sergeant and became a Second Lieutenant within five and a half years. He served two combat tours, one in the Asian Pacific in 2003, and another in Iraq in 2005.

Upon retiring as Major in 2006, Major Moorefield saw the need for returning veterans to be matched to the right employers, and vice versa. In 2007, he started DAK Resources, Inc., a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, with the goal to assist our nation’s veterans in finding just the right job for them – putting veterans and their families to work first. In addition, DAK Resources also partners with multiple agencies and offers business consultants to the public and private sectors providing staffing services and business solutions.

May 6, 2013

Hendersonville Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Navy veteran and involved Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) member David Moomy as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Hendersonville location. Moomy spent nine years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and 17 years in the Naval Reserve. He was a Surface Warfare officer and served on three different ships, making one deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and four deployments to Vietnam. Moomy retired as a Commander in 1993 and worked for 30 years as a defense contractor supporting the Navy. He is the incoming Post Commander for VFW post 9851 in Hendersonville, and will be filling this position for the 2013 – 2014 period.

May 6, 2013

Gallatin Celebration

O’Charley’s will recognize two veterans for their service to the country and local community as Hometown Heroes at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Gallatin location. This O’Charley’s is among the first of several restaurants nationwide to undergo a revitalization and reimaging plan that features refurbished store interiors/exteriors and updated menu items.

Jim Flockencier served ten years in the U.S. Army, two years of which were spent in active duty from 1963 – 1965 at Fort Wainwright outside Fairbanks, Alaska. He served as an Artilleryman, Small Unit Commander and Battalion Ammunition Officer among other positions. Flockencier was appointed president of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 240 of Sumner County in 2012 after serving as a member of the board of directors and as the second vice president. As president of the Sumner VVA Chapter, Flockencier helps oversee and participates in several programs that give back to veterans, such as the Veteran’s Food Pantry, Project Santa, which provides toys to kids of underprivileged families, and a scholarship program to support family members of veterans.

Sumner VVA Chapter member Bill Annett will also be recognized at O’Charley’s Gallatin reopening. Annett served in the U.S. Navy for a total of six years and spent four years in active duty as a Navy Seabee, a member of the Navy’s Construction Battalion. His deployments included Okinawa, Japan, Ðà N?ng, and Thailand. Annett is involved in several VVA initiatives to support local veterans, including an annual Freedom Ain’t Free Fishing Tournament and keeping up the local Veterans Memorial Park in Gallatin. He is also a member of the VVA Chapter 240 Sumner County Color Guard.

May 7, 2013

Lebanon Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized 28-year U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Richard “Doc” Kraft as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Lebanon location.

Kraft served 28 years in the service, 22 of which were spent in active duty. Half of his years in active duty were spent in the U.S. Navy, while he served the other half on sea duty as a combat medic in the Marines. Kraft served multiple deployments to Okinawa, Vietnam, Cuba and Hawaii among several others. He is a decorated war hero with decorations ranging from two Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, a Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Metal, Vietnam Service Medal and a Vietnam Company Medal to name a few. Kraft retired a Navy Chief Corpsman of Marines FMF. He resides in Wilson County with his wife and two grandchildren.

Kraft is a member of the Wilson County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Through these organizations, he is involved in several programs to support his fellow veterans, including the VFW’s Veterans Helping Veterans, which lends a helping hand to family members of deployed military men and women, and Ground Pounders, a program providing funds to Wilson County veterans who may be struggling financially. When not in an organizational meeting or at a fund-raising event, Kraft makes and sells decorative key fobs that represent past wars, with all proceeds going towards the Wilson County War Memorial Museum or other programs that support our nation’s veterans.

May 7, 2013

Murfreesboro Celebration

O’Charley’s will recognize Daryl Mackin, a U.S Navy veteran and Executive Director of A Soldier’s Child Foundation (ASC) as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Murfreesboro location. This O’Charley’s is among the first of several restaurants nationwide to undergo a revitalization and re-imaging plan that features refurbished store interiors/exteriors and updated menu items.

Mackin served in the U.S. Navy for six years, four of which were spent in active duty. He has more than 30 years of experience in the food service industry, and began his cooking career during his first year of service as a U.S. Navy cook. During his time in the Navy, Mackin served two Mediterranean Deployments that took him to Spain, Belgium, Africa and Italy among other countries. After his service, Mackin was a chef instructor and in 2012 resigned to become the first full-time Executive Director of A Soldier’s Child.

Mackin founded the non-profit in 2008 after his neighbor’s son, a Marine Staff Sargent, was killed in Iraq. Daryl believes it is the responsibility of every American to show love and honor to the children and families of our nation’s fallen heroes. There are many children across the country who lost a mother or father because they gave their life while serving, and A Soldier’s Child Foundation aims to honor the memory of these parents by providing a meaningful gift to their children on their birthday. The foundation has grown to serve more than 900 children in 43 states.

May 13, 2013

Orange Park Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Tyrinda “Ty” Dixon, Warriors to Work Specialist with the Wounded Warrior Project, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Orange Park location.

Dixon served in multiple positions in the Army for 20 years, enlisting as a Journalist and becoming a Photos Journalist for Army Public Affairs. During her service as a Photo Journalist, Dixon served overseas in Germany. She then served 14 years as a Recruiter and Guidance Counselor at the Army Recruiting Command in Jacksonville. After retiring from the Army in 1996, Dixon worked for the City of Jacksonville Military Affairs Office before transitioning to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Dixon has an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, which she received in 2009 for her humanitarian efforts and service to her community. She is an assistant pastor in Jacksonville, an author, and has a radio broadcast every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Northeast Florida.

May 13, 2013

Mt. Juliet Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David McDonough for his service to the country and local community as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Mt. Juliet location.

McDonough has served 15 years in the Army, and continues his time in the service as Staff Sergeant and Recruiting and Retention NCO at the Tennessee Army National Guard. During his time on active duty, McDonough served multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain and Jordan among others. He served in multiple positions while on active duty, including Special Operations Liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan, Protection Detail for six years, and Personal Security Detail in Iraq. McDonough served his final deployment in Jordan as Sergeant First Class.

May 13, 2013

Clarksville Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Tommy Dennis, Post Commander at VFW Post 11160 in Clarksville, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Clarksville location.

Dennis, a Clarksville native, was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967 and served a total of six years. He completed his Basic Training at Fort Benning in Georgia before serving two years in active duty and a one-year deployment to Vietnam from 1968 – 1969. During his time serving in active duty, Dennis was a Specialist 5 (E5).

Dennis joined VFW Post 11160 in 1999 and became a life member in 2002. He is going on his second term as Post Commander. Dennis and his fellow members lead efforts in supporting Clarksville’s veterans and their families, as well as local schools and church groups. The VFW holds several fundraisers a year that enable them to provide generous donations to these groups. Post 11160 has adopted and donates school supplies to several Clarksville area schools, as well as a start-up school in Afghanistan. Dennis’ wife Janet is also an active member of the VFW’s Women’s organization.

May 14, 2013

Columbia Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran James Patterson for his service to the country and continued service to fellow veterans as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Columbia location.

Patterson served six years in the Army, two of which were spent in active duty, including a one-year deployment to Vietnam from 1966-1967. Patterson’s final ranking in the Army was Specialist 5 (E5). He now continues to serve his community as the Maury County Veterans Service Officer. Patterson is very involved in several additional local organizations and groups, such as the American Legion Post 19, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22 among others.

May 21, 2013

Hopkinsville Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army Private First Class Lindell Pleasant as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Hopkinsville location.

Pleasant, a Martin, TN native, has served in the Army for six years. He was first stationed in Fort Drum, New York with the 10th Mountain Regiment and was classified as a lead mortar man. During his first tour on active duty in Afghanistan, Pleasant’s vehicle struck an IED and he suffered significant injuries. After months of recovery, knee replacements and surgery to his shattered ankle, Pleasant was determined to continue serving in the Armed Forces. He was awarded a Purple Heart for combat in the summer of 2009.

Pleasant came to Fort Campbell, KY in April, 2010, and was assigned to the 1-506th Headquarters and Headquarters Company 4th Basic Combat Training before working in community relations at the Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office.

May 28, 2013

Manchester Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Navy and Vietnam veteran Gene Stillings as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Manchester location.

Stillings served in the Navy for almost eight years from 1962 until December 1969. He is part of a long line of family members who have fought as far back as the Civil War. Stillings began his time serving in the Navy at Philadelphia Naval Yard before he became stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. He was a Machinist Mate on the U.S.S. Kidd destroyer and U.S.S. America aircraft carrier. Stillings served a deployment to Vietnam on the America, and spent much of his deployed service in the South Pacific and South China Seas.

Currently, Stillings is Secretary Treasurer of the Coffee County Veterans Association. He oversees meetings, programs and building upkeep for the local Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 90, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10904, and American Legion Post 78 in Coffee County. Also joining Stillings at the reopening celebration will be DAV Chapter Commander Lamar Wilkie and American Legion Commander Eugene Warren.

June 3, 2013

Bowling Green Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran David Angle as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bowling Green location.

Angle, now an Adult Education Specialist with the non-profit program Veterans Upward Bound (VUB), served in the Army for a total of five years, with three years in active duty. He went into the Army in 1986 at the age of 33 and completed desert training at the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert. While stationed at Fort Stewart in Savannah, Georgia, Angle quickly earned the rank of E5 before going on inactive duty in 1989.

Years after retiring from the service, Angle learned about VUB, which assists veterans from an eight county area surrounding Bowling Green. The program, which is the only VUB branch in the state of Kentucky and has been located at Western Kentucky University for 20 years, aided Angle in receiving the courses he needed to prepare for post-secondary school. In 1999, he started classes at Western Kentucky and graduated in 2004. In 2006, Angle went to work for VUB, and has been with the program as an Adult Education Specialist ever since. Joining Angle at the Bowling Green O’Charley’s reopening and Hometown Heroes recognition will be his colleague Rick Wright, a Counselor/Coordinator with VUB who mainly assists U.S. veterans with the financial aid and enrolling process.

June 4, 2013

Pigeon Forge Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Albert King, a military serviceman of 22 years, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Pigeon Forge location.

King, a Recruiter with the Tennessee National Guard in Sevier County, began his service with the Marine Corps in 1990. He was on active duty in the Marines for four years and served multiple deployments to Okinawa and Korea, among others, before joining the Marine Corps reserve in Johnson City, Tennessee. In 2001, King enlisted as active duty in the U.S. Army, and was deployed on Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. He served as a Combat Engineer in Iraq through June 2004, and in 2005 came off active duty and joined the National Guard. He became a recruiter for the Tennessee National Guard in Sevier County in April of 2006, and has served in this position since.

June 10, 2013

Bristol Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized Vietnam veteran Joe Cunningham as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bristol location. Cunningham served on active duty in the U.S. Army for three years, two of which were spent on deployment to Vietnam. During his deployment, Cunningham served as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant in the 182nd and 101st Divisions. He retired from the Army in 1970 as a Staff Sergeant.

Cunningham supports his fellow veterans, current military and their families through his work and memberships with American Legion Post 145, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 4, and Vietnam Veterans of America. He is the incoming Post Commander at the American Legion. Cunningham also organizes fundraising rallies and promotes veterans welfare through his involvement in Rolling Thunder, a veterans motorcycle riding group. He is a past board member and past Funeral Honor Guard Captain of the group. Currently, Cunningham is organizing an American Legion riders group.

June 11, 2013

Knoxville (Kingston Pike) Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized John L. Dyess, one of two Army Reserve Ambassadors to Tennessee, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Kingston Pike, Knoxville location. Dyess’ military service began in 1965 when he enlisted in the 360th Civil Affairs Brigade, an Army Reserve unit in Columbia, South Carolina. Following his initial assignment, Dyess served in the 492nd and 489th Civil Affairs Companies, and was assigned to the Joint Staff after several Individual Mobilization Augmentee assignments across the United States and Central America. His military career concluded in 1993 as Chief of Internal Review with the 125th Army Reserve Command in Nashville.

Since 1983, Dyess has played an active leadership role in the Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), serving as ESGR State Chair from 1998 – 2004 and now serving as Regional Chair for the organization. Ambassador Dyess’ main role with ESGR is to encourage employers to give first consideration to hiring men and women who have demonstrated their commitment to the nation by serving in the Armed Forces.

In addition to numerous military awards, he is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Public Service, the Distinguished Patriot Award from the Tennessee Military Department and, most recently, the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal.

June 17, 2013

Spring Hill Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Tina Heath as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Spring Hill location.

Heath joined the Army in 1988, completing her basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Harrison, Indiana. Heath was first stationed in North Carolina serving in the National Guard Transportation Unit until 1998 when she was transferred to Joint Force Headquarters in Nashville. She served as a Logistics Officer and Recruiter through several additional transfers to Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville from 2005 through 2013.

Among these transfers, Heath served three deployments. Her first deployment was served in Bosnia’s Eagle Base from 2001 through 2002 as an E5 Personnel Specialist, followed by a deployment to Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004. Heath’s final deployment was served in Kuwait and Iraq from 2009 to 2010, where she served as a First Lieutenant and Platoon Leader for a Transportation Unit.

 

Heath retired in January 2013 as a First Lieutenant in a Recruiting and Command position. She moved back to her long-time home of Spring Hill, Tennessee, and has started her own health and wellness network marketing business, Arbonne.

 

June 18, 2013

Knoxville (South Mall Road) Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran John Wolfe as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s South Mall Road location.

Wolfe enlisted in the Army in 1967 and completed his Army Basic Training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was deployed to Germany soon after completing Advanced Individual Training, where he served as a Specialist E4 for almost three years. After returning home, Wolfe reenlisted, was promoted to Sergeant E5, and returned to Germany before being deployed to Vietnam in 1970. During his service in Vietnam, Wolfe served in the 23rd Infantry Division and 196th Air Brigade Division in Da N ang as a door gunner. After his deployment to Vietnam, Wolfe returned to the United States and was stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana and Fort Campbell. He retired a Sergeant E5 in 1977 after almost 11 years in the service. Wolfe was awarded two Army Commendation Awards, three Army Good Conduct Medals, and Four Vietnam Campaign ribbons.

Wolfe devotes his time to supporting his fellow veterans, as well as current military, their families and the Knoxville community through his memberships and work with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Wolfe was the VFW District Commander from 2011 – 2012 and oversaw 11 VFW posts in the Knoxville area. He is also a past Commander and Band Director for DAV Chapter 86. Wolfe is currently the VFW District Inspector in Knoxville.

June 24, 2013

Kingsport Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Gerald Cardwell as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Kingsport location.

Cardwell joined the Army in 1961, completing his basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon in Georgia. He served three years active duty while stationed in Darmstadt, Germany. While active, Cardwell served in the 93rd Signal Battalion as a Radio Relay and Carrier Operator. His rank was Sergeant Specialist 5 (E-5). After his tour in Germany, Cardwell returned to the United States and served the rest of his time in the Army while stationed at Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

Cardwell is currently Commander at American Legion Post 3 in Kingsport, Tennessee, a position he has filled for six years. American Legion Post 3 provides the only Veterans Service Office to Sullivan County. They also have a Post Honor Guard that performs at military honors funerals throughout the region. Alongside his work with the American Legion, Cardwell serves on the board of the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council, an organization recently developed to coordinate military and veteran’s organizations in the area.

July 1, 2013

Kingsport Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized 21-year U.S. Army veteran Don McCasland, Programs Director with Soldiers And Families Embraced (SAFE), a Clarksville-based nonprofit offering individual and group counseling services, as well as peer support groups for active duty soldiers, veterans and their families.

McCasland enlisted in the Army in 1987, beginning a career with the armed forces that spanned multiple deployments, including Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, and in more recent years, three tours to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. McCasland served the majority of his deployments with the 101st Airborne Division as a Sergeant First Class and Platoon Sergeant. He was awarded two Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal, a Combat Action Badge, and Air Assault Wings.

Upon retiring from the Army in 2009, McCasland attended Austin Peay State University to finish up his degree in Social Work. He helped start the University’s chapter of the Student Veterans Organization, which he served as president of for several years. It was during this time McCasland met fellow student and Army veteran Jodi McCullah, and the two had a vision for an organization that supported and helped veterans with PTSD and related issues upon returning home from service. McCasland struggled with PTSD upon returning home in 2009, and knowing he could relate to his fellow veterans, he wanted to help others through it. McCasland and McCullah founded The Lazarus Project in 2010, and eventually merged in 2011 with SAFE founder Rebecca Townsend, spouse to an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. The two organizations joined forces to provide services to anyone and everyone, and to serve as a resource for the community to ease the readjustment of military members returning from our nation’s current wars, as well as veterans from previous eras.

July 2, 2013

Knoxville (Cedar Lane) Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran James William McGinnis as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Cedar Lane location.

McGinnis enlisted in the Army as soon as he was out of high school in 1966. He completed his basic training at Fort Knox in Kentucky and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon in Georgia. As soon as McGinnis completed training, he was deployed to Vietnam, where he served as a Grenadier, Radio Transmission Operator, and Rifelman in the 1st Battalion and 7th Calvary Regiment with the rank of Specialist 4. In 1968, McGinnis suffered serious combat issues while serving as a Point Man d uring a conflict in Da Nang, Vietnam. An explosion took his right leg and caused serious nerve damage in his left. He was given medical discharge upon returning home in February of 1969. McGinnis was awarded a Purple Heart, Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and Air Assault Medal.

Currently, McGinnis resides in Maryville, Tennessee, where he has spent the last 20 years. He is a life member of the national chapter of Disabled American Veterans, as well as a member of American Legion Post 0013 in Maryville, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5154 in Maryville, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 0812 in West Virginia.

July 9, 2013

Alcoa Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Marine Corps veteran of five-and-a-half years Brian Robbins as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Alcoa location.

Robbins enlisted in the Marines in June of 2007 and completed recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. H is first duty station was Delta Company 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Knoxville. Robbins also spent time at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and 29 Palms, California. His Military Occupational Specialty was Combat Engineer.

Robbins served two deployments, the first of which was to Iraq in 2008 in support of 1st Battalion 2nd Marines in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His second deployment was to Afghanistan in 2011 in support of Bravo Company 1st Battalion 6th Marines in Operation Enduring Freedom. Robbins also served in support of Bravo Company during Operation Eastern Storm. His rank during Operation Iraqi Freedom was Lance Corporal, during which time Robbins was primarily a driver and turret gunner. He served as Corporal during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, leading patrols and clearing the route for the 3rd Squad of Bravo Company.

Three-and-a-half months into his second deployment to Afghanistan, Robbins was hit by an IED during a search and destroy mission for Taliban bunkers. His right leg ended up having to be amputated above the knee. Robbins was medically evacuated to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he underwent surgery and physical therapy for seven months. He was medically retired in January 2013 with the rank of Sergeant. Robbins now owns his own construction company, For the Fallen Contracting. The name was inspired by losing three of his Marine brothers to combat in Afghanistan.

For his injury during combat in Afghanistan, Robbins was awarded the Purple Heart. He was also awarded two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals and the Combat Action Ribbon.

July 22, 2013

Knoxville (Parkside Drive)

O’Charley’s recognized 18-year U.S. Army Master Sergeant Michael Trost as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Parkside Drive location.

Trost enlisted in the Army right out of high school in 1982, and after completing training, spent the first two years of his service as an Army Clerk in Korea. In 1985, Trost joined the National Guard and served in the Guard infantry in Northern California for several years. While with the National Guard, he was part of a team that provided support during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. In 1997, Trost decided to go back on active duty, and reported to Fort Lewis, Washington to serve in the Army 25th Infantry Division. He was deployed to Korea for a year in 1999 with Bravo Company 1st of the 506, and served as an Infantry Squad Leader.

In May 2002, Trost joined the 426th Army Civil Affairs Battalion out of Upland, California, and served on civil affairs missions in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Iraq and Afghanistan among other countries. After a deployment to Iraq from 2004 – 2005 as an Assistant Operations Sergeant with the 426th, Trost went to North Carolina and served on the Special Warfare Command. He transferred to Knoxville in 2009 to joined the 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, serving as the Delta Team Sergeant and overseeing day-to-day operations.

In late 2010, Trost was notified of an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, and was deployed in 2011 to join the 2nd of the 38th Cavalry Squadron. In February 2012, Trost’s company was working in cooperation with Albanian soldiers on a civil affairs mission to train officers of a local Afghan police department in Robat, Afghanistan. An incident broke out when one of the Afghan officers – really an undercover Taliban – turned and open-fired on the company. Trost suffered five gunshot wounds, losing most of his right hand and taking several shots through the legs and torso. He was swiftly taken to a hospital in Kandahar and also underwent treatment in Germany before returning home for almost a year of ongoing surgeries and treatments at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Trost was the first American to ever receive a sciatic nerve transplant, a surgery that took 14 hours. He has since been recovering from his injuries at a steady pace, is out of his wheelchair and has some feeling back in his right leg and foot.

For his service, Master Sergeant Michael Trost has received the prestigious Bronze Star and Purple Heart, along with three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, and Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals.

July 22, 2013

Morristown

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Theodore Shambeau, currently the Morristown Navy Recruiter, as a Hometown Hero at the reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Morristown location.

Shambeau, who has served seven years in the Navy, completed boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois before spending his first five years of service stationed at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. He has served two deployments to the Persian Gulf, the first as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009, and the second as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. Shambeau was aboard the U.S.S. Nitze Destroyer as part of the U.S.S. Enterprise Striker Group for both deployments. He served as Senior Sonar Technician, Combat Systems Officer and Anti-Submarine Warfare Evaluator, with the rank of Leading Petty Officer for the Combat Acoustic Division. In addition to deploying to the Persian Gulf, Shambeau’s group made stops in Dubai, Bahrain, Israel, Albania, Italy, France, Africa and Scotland among other countries.

Shambeau has served four months as the Morristown Navy Recruiter, a position he volunteered for. Being a recruiter is very rewarding for Shambeau, and he enjoys seeing the lives of Future Sailors change, just like his did when he joined the Navy.

For his service, Petty Officer Shambeau has received three Navy Achievement Medals, an Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and two Good Conduct Medals.

July 30, 2013

Collierville

O’Charley’s recognized Diane Hight, President and Founder of Forever Young Senior Veteran Wish, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Collierville location.

Hight, who has always had a passion for senior citizens, founded Forever Young in 2006 on the premise that no matter the age, a person always feels young at heart. The organization works to change the image of aging and redefine it with self-confidence, respect, and a hopeful life for seniors. In 2009, after a few years of granting wishes to the general senior citizen population, Hight recognized the need for military veterans to have the chance to visit places like the National WWII Memorial in Washington D.C., or the very places they fought overseas.

Forever Young grants wishes for seniors 65 years and older, and evaluates each wish carefully upon receiving it. One of the main missions of the organization is to grant wishes to WWII veterans who have never seen the WWII Memorial and aren’t able to take the trip on their own. Hundreds of WWII and Korean Ware Veterans have been honored through trips to D.C., Normandy, and Pearl Harbor, among other locations. Forever Young grants these unfulfilled dreams or returns veterans to the locations they fought to remember and be remembered.

August 6, 2013

Cordova

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Marine Corps Recruiter and Memphis native Sergeant Darryl Greenwood as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Cordova location.

Greenwood joined the Marines in 2003 after graduating high school in Memphis. He completed basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina and was soon after stationed in Okinawa, Japan. After being stationed in several additional Marine bases, Greenwood was deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served in Iraq as a Management Specialist with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) Supply Battalion. Greenwood served a second deployment in 2011 to Afghanistan on Operation Enduring Freedom. He was with the 2nd MLG Maintenance Battalion, with the duty of sustaining cargo supply to operating Marine bases and distributing equipment to units.

Upon returning from deployment to Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Greenwood had the opportunity to return to Memphis and serve as a Marine Recruiter for Cordova. He has been serving at this location since March 2012.

Greenwood has received several honors, including the Marine Impact Award for his exemplary service in Afghanistan, and more recently an Impact Award for recruiting. Greenwood also has a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, as well as Campaign Medals for his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

August 13, 2013

Bartlett

O’Charley’s recognized 26-year U.S. Navy veteran Randy Durham as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Bartlett location.

Durham enlisted in the Navy in 1964, completing basic training at the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Center in San Diego, California. After two year stationed in San Francisco, he went back to San Diego and served 12 years. Other locations Durham was stationed included Charleston, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., Port Hueneme, California, and finally Millington, Tennessee. Durham served three deployments to Vietnam during his time in the Navy, including one full year in Saigon, Vietnam from September 1966 to September 1967. Overall, Durham made four deployments; three deployments on ships to the Vietnam area and one deployment to the Middle East for eight months. Ships he served on included the USS Bonhomme Richard carrier, USS Hoel destroyer, and USS Long Beach cruiser. His rank was First Class Petty Officer (E6).

In 1987, after his deployment to the Middle East on the USS Long Beach, Durham transferred to Millington, Tennessee on Navy orders to be the Officer-in-Charge of a 75 person Personnel Support Detachment at the Naval Air Technical Training Center. He retired Chief Warrant Officer W4 on July 1, 1990 and has lived in the greater Memphis area since. Following active duty in the Navy, Durham went to work for the State of Tennessee, and spent his first eight years with the Department of Correction at the Mark Luttrell Reception Center in Bartlett, Tennessee. His next seven years were spent with the Memphis Mental Health Institute where he served as Director of Human Resources.

Durham is currently Post Quartermaster at the North Shelby Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7175. He is Immediate Past State Commander for the VFW and oversaw 104 VFWs statewide from June 2012 to June 2013. Durham also has affiliations with the American Legion and Fleet Reserve Association.

August 20, 2013

Acworth Ribbon Cutting

The O’Charley’s in Acworth held a ribbon cutting on August 20 to celebrate the restaurant's grand reopening. Restaurant General Manager Joseph Maltby cut the ribbon, along with Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood, restaurant staff, public officials, and representatives from the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

August 26, 2013

Acworth

O’Charley’s recognized three military veterans and two active duty service members across five different wars as Hometown Heroes. All five honorees are members of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5408 in Acworth.

John Graves, WWII
Graves served as a Private in the U.S. Army Air Force during WWII. He was drafted in 1944, and immediately after completing basic training was deployed to serve in Italy. During his deployment, Graves served as a Tech Sergeant at the European Theatre of WWII in 1945. The Theatre was a large area of heavy fighting across Europe from Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. While serving in Italy, the war came to an end in 1945.

James Easterly, Korean War
Easterly served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After being drafted in 1962, he completed his basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and was deployed to Kimpo Air Base in Seoul, South Korea. The majority of Easterly’s service was spent at the 38th Parallel – the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) serving as a buffer between North and South Korea. He was a Radar Operator, with duties to scan the area looking for planes, tanks, and enemies headed towards base. Easterly was honorably discharged in 1964.

Donald Henry, Vietnam War
Henry spent a total of ten and a half years in the U.S. Army, serving a deployment to Vietnam from 1971 – 1972. During his service, Henry was a Specialist 5 and Radio Equipment Repairman with the 596th Signal Company. He serviced, repaired, and set up communication for B52 missions, and repaired radio equipment at the Company’s main base. Henry retired from the service in 1980 with the rank of Staff Sergeant E-6. He is a Bronze Star recipient.

Lorel Davis, War in Afghanistan
Davis is a Corpsman HM2 in the U.S. Navy, currently stationed at Naval Branch Health Clinic Mayport in Mayport, Florida. He joined the Navy in 2008, and has served multiple deployments to the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Afghanistan. While deployed in Qalat, Afghanistan from April 2012 – October 2012, Davis served with the Navy Forward Surgical Team and saw just under 700 military patients. He has been awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and NATO Medal.

Jermaine Henry, Iraq War
Henry joined the U.S. Army in 2009, and is currently responsible for the in-processing of every soldier reporting to Fort Benning, Georgia. Henry’s current rank is Sergeant E-5. He was deployed and served in Kirkuk, Iraq for ten months from 2010 – 2011. While in Iraq, serving as Supply Clerk for seven Army battalions, Henry was awarded the Combat Action Badge and promoted. His future duty assignment will be to Korea in March of 2014.

August 26, 2013

Snellville

O’Charley’s recognized James Lynch, Vietnam veteran and Quartermaster at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 4180, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Scenic Highway North location.

Lynch joined the Army in 1963, and after completing basics, was first stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey Bay, California. Soon after joining the Army, he was deployed to serve a full term in Vietnam in 1963 with the 39th Signal Battalion. Lynch was a Private First Class at the time. He also served a second deployment for eight months as a Specialist 4 on the S.S. Norwich Victory, a commercial ship to Vietnam. For his service, Lynch received three Army Commendation Medals, multiple Army Achievement Medals, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal, among others. He went into the Army Reserve in 1966 and joined the Psychological Operations Unit. After 18 years with the Reserve, Lynch left the Army a Chief Warrant Officer.

Currently, Lynch is Quartermaster of VFW Post 4180 in Snellville, keeping the Post’s records finances and books. He acts as the VFW’s Service Officer, and helps assist and refer fellow veterans in medical need. Additionally, Lynch is Senior Vice Commander of American Legion Post 232.

July 30, 2013

Collierville Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's in Collierville held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the restaurant's grand reopening. The restaurant also honored Diane Hight, founder of local nonprofit Forever Young Senior Veteran Wish, as a Hometown Hero for her work with WWII and Korea veterans. Restaurant General Manager Mike Johnston cut the ribbon, alongside Hight and representatives from the Collierville Chamber of Commerce.

August 27, 2013

Snellville Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's in Snellville held a ribbon cutting on August 27 to celebrate the restaurant’s grand reopening. General Manager Michelle Prior stood by with the Greater Eastside Chamber as local Army veteran James Lynch, the restaurant’s Hometown Hero honoree, cut the ribbon.

September 10, 2013

McDonough Celebration

O’Charley’s will recognize John Marvin Helton, 26-year United States Air Force veteran, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Jonesboro Road location.

Helton, a Georgia native, joined the Army Air Force in 1941 at 19 years old. In 1942, immediately after completing training, he was deployed for a 19th month tour during World War II. Much of Helton’s deployment was spent in Saipan, an island of the Mariana Islands, where he served as a Tech Sergeant. One of his main duties was calibrating the Norden bombsight, a tachometric bombsight used by the Army Air Force and Navy during WWII. The sights were primarily seen on B-29 bomber planes during WWII and the Korean War.

After the end of WWII, Helton went into the Air Force Active Reserves until reenlisting in 1950 at the onset of the Korean War. He was then deployed to Puerto Rico, at which time he was named Master Sergeant. Helton would later be named Senior Master Sergeant during the Vietnam War, before he was honorably discharged in 1966.

For his service, Helton received several Silver Star Medals, the third highest military decoration for valor awarded for gallantry in action. He also received the United Force Air Force Good Conduct Medal and Asia-Pacific Campaign Medal, among several others. Helton, who will be 92 this month, is a current member of American Legion Post 516 in McDonough and a member of the Air Force Sergeant’s Association. He is a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Scottish Rite.

September 17, 2013

Breckenridge Lane Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's on Breckenridge Lane in Louisville held a ribbon cutting on September 17 to celebrate the restaurant’s grand reopening. General Manager Cheryl Justice cut the ribbon alongside Councilman Rick Tonini, Operations Director Jim Stomieroski, and St. Matthews Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Glenn Knight.

September 17, 2013

Elizabethtown Lane Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's in Elizabethtown held a ribbon cutting on September 17 to celebrate the restaurant’s grand reopening. General Manager Kelly Taylor-Fuqua cut the ribbon, alongside O’Charley’s staff members, members of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce, and Elizabethtown Mayor Edna Berger.

September 23, 2013

Breckenridge Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Marine Corps veteran Bob Unger as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Breckenridge Lane location.

Unger joined the Marines in 1952 at 21 years old. After completing his basics, Unger was deployed to Korea with the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines Regiment, where he saw combat while on his 14-month tour of duty. He served for a total of four years, and was a Sergeant E5 when he got out of the Marine Corps.

Unger served as the Commander for American Legion Highland Post 201 three years in a row in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Before that, he was American Legion District 5 Commander and oversaw ten Posts across the region. Unger is currently the Business Manager for Post 201, and also serves as the Chaplain. Post 201 recently celebrated their 75th anniversary. Unger will be accepting the Hometown Hero recognition on behalf of the American Legion.

September 24, 2013

Corydon Lane Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's in Corydon held a ribbon cutting on September 24 to celebrate the restaurant’s grand reopening. The ribbon was cut by General Manager Scott Blanford, alongside O’Charley’s staff members, members of the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County and Darrell Voelker, Director of the Harrison County Economic Development Corp.

September 24, 2013

Elizabethtown Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army veteran Mauhee Edmondson, a Hardin County native, as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Elizabethtown location.

Edmondson joined the Army Reserve in 1984, following a long line of patriotic family members who had served before her. She was Assistant Professor of Nursing at Elizabethtown Community College when she joined the armed forces. After completing basics in 1985 and spending some time at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas, Edmondson worked as Staff Nurse at Fort Knox Army post in Kentucky. In 1990, she was called up and mobilized as active duty during Operation Desert Shield. It was during this time that Edmondson began serving at Ireland Army Community Hospital at Fort Knox, under the rank of Captain. In 1991, she was sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to be stationed at Reynolds Army Community Hospital. After four years at Fort Sill, Edmondson went into the Active Guard Reserve Program, and in April of 1995, after becoming Major, was sent to the 377th Support Hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee to work as a Training Officer.

From July 1997 through August of 2000, Edmondson served as Director of the Practical Nurse Program for the 108th Division in Jacksonville, Florida, where she oversaw the program for five states. She became Lieutenant Colonel before going on to work in the Office of Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon as Assistant Director for Accession Policy from 2000 – 2004. Edmondson was working at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 when the nation was attacked.

After her time at the Pentagon, Edmondson went to Fort McPherson, Georgia and was stationed at the Army Reserve Command. It was during her time there she was named Colonel. In 2007, Edmondson came back to Fort Knox as Deputy Commander for Mobilization Health Services, and oversaw a six-state region. She retired in November of 2011.

Edmondson and her husband Bill, also an Army veteran who served during Vietnam, are life-members of American Legion Hardin Post 113. Additionally, Edmondson is a member of VFW Post 10281 in Vine Grove, Kentucky.

October 1, 2013

Corydon Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized Elizabeth, Indiana native and U.S. Army veteran Jesse Paschal as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Pacer Drive location.

Paschal was drafted into the Army in 1965 during the Vietnam War, and immediately after being drafted, signed up to be a paratrooper. Soon after training, Paschal was assigned to the elite 101st Airborne. He was deployed to Vietnam in 1966 and served a total of 13 months as a Sergeant with the 502nd Strike Force of the 101st Airborne. “Wherever there was action, they sent us,” said Paschal.

For his service and bravery during combat, Paschal received several medals, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the Vietnamese Medal with a Bronze Star, and the National Defense Medal.

Paschal is a life member of American Legion Post 379 in Elizabeth, Indiana, and VFW Post 1250 in Corydon. Paschal served as Commander of the American Legion in Elizabeth, and was District 8 Commander for a year, overseeing 33 American Legions across the region. Paschal is a National Officer in the Forty and Eight, an elite organization of veterans of the United States armed forces. Also joining him at the Hometown Hero celebration will be members and commanders of American Legion Elizabeth Post 379, American Legion Floyd Knobs Post 42, and VFW New Albany Post 3281. An honor guard from VFW Post 3281 will be presenting the colors.

October 15, 2013

Richmond Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's in Richmond held a ribbon cutting on October 15 to celebrate the restaurant’s grand reopening. The ribbon was cut by General Manager Jeff Baker, alongside Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes, local officials, O’Charley’s staff members, and members of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

October 21, 2013

Richmond Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized 13-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jack Ditmer as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Richmond location.

Ditmer enlisted in the Marines in 1944 at the age of 17. After completing boot camp at Paris Island, he was deployed to China with the 3rd Marine Division and served eight months as Corporal until the end of WWII. Upon returning home, Ditmer went into the Reserves until the start of the Korean War. In 1950, he was deployed to North Korea and served in combat at the Chosin Reservoir with the 1st Marine Division. Ditmer’s service in Korea lasted two years. He went back into the Reserves after the Korean War, and got out in 1958 with the final rank of Sergeant. For his service, Ditmer received the WWII Service Medal, China Campaign Medal, and Korean Campaign Medal, among several others.

Currently, Ditmer is a volunteer for the Bluegrass Young Marines in Richmond, an organization he has worked with since 2002. He helped start the Richmond chapter of the Marine Corp League in 2000, and has served as the State Commandant for the League. Ditmer has received the Marine of the Year Award from both the county and state level.

October 16, 2013

Frankfort Ribbon Cutting

The O'Charley's in Frankfort held a ribbon cutting on October 16 to celebrate the restaurant’s grand reopening. The ribbon was cut by General Manager Chris Baker, alongside local officials, members of The Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce, community leaders, and O’Charley’s staff members.

October 22, 2013

Frankfort Celebration

O’Charley’s recognized U.S. Army and Air Force veteran Leroy Spalding as a Hometown Hero at a reopening celebration of the restaurant’s Frankfort location.

Spalding enlisted in the Army in 1941 and joined the 38th Division of the Kentucky National Guard. He volunteered for overseas duty in 1943, and was deployed with the 45th Division as part of the Allied invasion of Sicily under General George S. Patton. In 1944, Spalding was sent to Germany and was serving as a Radio Operator when WWII came to an end in 1945. He is the last survivor of the 160th Field Artillery Battalion of the 45th Division.

After WWII, Spalding took flying courses and received his pilot license. He transitioned into the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at the 436th Troop Carrier Wing at Forth Knox in 1950. At the breakout of the Korean War, Spalding was deployed to Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, where he served as a Senior Teletype Operator and received and sent coded messages during the war. Spalding served in the Air Force a total of 18 months.

Spalding received a Purple Heart for wounds in combat. He is currently a charter member of VFW Post 4075 in Frankfort, as well as a member of American Legion Post 7 and the Frankfort chapter of Disabled American Veterans. He is past State Commander of the Military Order of The Purple Heart.