By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
The Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association and the City of Gadsden honored Fred Sington, Jr. at the Gadsden’s City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 17.
Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association’s special presentation was held to induct Sington into the 2017 Patriots Hall of Fame.
Sington served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1953 to 1963. He was on active duty from 1955 to 1957, served at Bainbridge Navy Base, Md., and Little Creek Navy Base, Va. Sington was a member of the Naval Concert Choir in 1956 and 1957.
Locally, Sington has worked as a labor attorney; at Fred Sington Sporting Goods; at Consolidated National Life Insurance Company; as assistant to the mayor of Gadsden; as chairman of the Gadsden Airport Authority; as director of the Northeast Regional Airport; as sportscaster for Gadsden City High School, Jacksonville State University TV Network and University of Alabama radio; and as an instructor at Gadsden State Community College and Jacksonville State University.
Sington has also served in leadership positions on a number of local boards, councils and non-profit organizations, including the Alabama Retail Association, Alabama Aviation Council, Northeast Alabama Boys Club Board, Alabama/Mississippi Boys Club Area Council, Gadsden Downtown Action Board, Gadsden Cultural Arts Board, Gadsden Education Foundation Board, National Aviation Transportation Association Airport Committee, Northeast Alabama Big Brothers Big Sisters Board, Northeast Alabama Regional Cancer Drive, Northeast Alabama Heart Fund, First United Methodist Board of Stewards and Gadsden Quarterback Club.
Sington has previously been honored in the Etowah County Hall of Fame, in the ASA Alabama Softball Hall of Fame, as an athlete in AllNavy Football in 1956, as an athlete in All-Navy softball in 1956 and 1957, as the Boy Scouts Golden Eagle Man of the Year and as the Spirit of Citizenship Man of the Year.
“People think that for the Patriots Hall of Honor you have to be a war hero. That’s not true,” said Rick Vaughan. “A patriot is just an average individual that does extraordinary things for everyday people without asking for recognition. A patriot is an individual who is always there for you. He honors his country; he honors his fellow man. He is somebody you can always count on. Most of the time a patriot is someone who is sort of in the back. Somebody you don’t really see that much when it comes to the public aspect, but he is always there. That’s a patriot. Fred Sington has been more than that.”
The Patriots Association awarded Sington with a plaque, a medal and a pin. City of Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton followed the Patriots presentation with a proclamation announcing that October 17 was a day of recognition for Sington and his service to the community.
Guyton presented Sington with a plaque and a pin, before presenting Sington with one more honor.
“I also have a key to the city,” said Guyton, who presented the ornate key to Sington.
“I appreciate this honor more than you know,” said Sington. “I learned a lot in the two short years I served in the navy. I learned a lot about people, and I learned a lot about what the military is really all about. I’m proud of the United States. I’m proud of being a veteran.”