CG speaks at Athens Memorial Day ceremony
May 30, 2012
ATHENS, Ala. - Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, and more than a dozen command employees joined with the Athens community to honor Memorial Day May 28 at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives.
In addition to the planned ceremony, Formica had the honor to present medals to former Staff Sgt. Theo Calvin that he earned for actions during World War II but had never received.
"From time to time, the Army makes mistakes," Formica said. "I'm very pleased to have the honor and privilege of correcting one of those oversights."
Calvin enlisted in 1942 and served for almost three years. During his service, he fought in the Sicily Invasion, landed at Omaha Beach, and helped hold the line near Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
Calvin had already received two Purple Hearts, an Army Good Conduct Medal, the Infantry Rifleman's Badge and several campaign ribbons. Formica presented Calvin with the Combat Infantryman Badge, a Bronze Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal with German Clasp, and the Belgian Fourragere.
Formica was the guest speaker for the Memorial Day ceremony, and he took the opportunity to remind the audience what Memorial Day is about.
"Today we honor sacrifice. We remember those who gave their lives in service to our country," Formica said. "Since the birth of our nation, tragically over one million men and women in uniform have died to defend our country.
"Freedom isn't free," Formica said. "Every Soldier, sailor, airman, Marine, and member of the Coast Guard writes a blank check when they raise their right hand and swear to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. To the veterans - thank you for your service, to those who have lost a loved one - thank you for allowing us to honor your loss today."