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State vets to be inducted into area Hall of Fame

POSTED: November 11, 2013 1:00 a.m.

The Georgia Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame (GMVHOF) has announced the 18 inductees for the first class of military heroes.

The induction ceremony will be on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbus.

Regional inductees are:

Hilliard Wilbanks of Habersham County — An Air Force captain who posthumously earned the Medal of Honor. He was killed in action in Vietnam while flying an unarmed small airplane and firing his personal weapon on a large enemy force to divert them from over running a much smaller force of Army Rangers and Vietnamese soldiers.

David Grange — A major general in the Army. He graduated from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega and served in Vietnam, Iran, Grenada, Iraq and Bosnia. He has received three Silver Stars, the nation’s third highest award for valor, and two Purple Hearts.

Ben Purcell of Clarkesville — An Army colonel and graduate of the University of North Georgia. The Silver Star recipient was a prisoner of war of the North Vietnamese Army for more than five years.



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