By Sarrah Peters
The Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association will hold its 45th Annual Patriots Day Luncheon and Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, November 6 at 11 a.m. at The Venue at Coosa Landing.
The guest speaker this year is retired Master Sergeant Howard “Max” Mullen, Jr. Mullen served as a U.S. Army Ranger instructor in the 1980s and early 1990s, receiving recognition for his work and leadership. In 1987, Mullen was instrumental in the co-authoring of the U.S. Army Combative Manuel FM 3-25.150. Mullen is a 2013 Ranger Hall of Fame Inductee, a distinguished member of the Ranger training brigade 2013 Inductee, a 2014 inductee into The International Close Combat Instructors Association and a United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) MG Aubrey “Red” Newman Leadership Award Recipient.
Mullen is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He was part of the cast for the web series “BLACK,” which recently won the 2015 Hollyweb Awards for the best action adventure. In addition to acting credits in movies, television, documentaries, commercials and print ads, Mullen has traveled overseas to entertain troops. He is the owner and CEO of Tactical Milsim Magazine, which produces articles on special operations, law enforcement, weapons and outdoor adventures.
Mullen is the first African-American to have four action figures made in his likeness that were based on movies, sports or celebrity.
During the luncheon, the Patriots Association will induct six honorees into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Basil Gerald Vice, Jr. will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame. Vice retired from the United States Air Force as a Senior Master Sergeant after 42 years of combined service. He served in the U. S. Navy and Naval Reserve from 1953-1975 and served in the Alabama National Guard 225th Combat Communications Squadron from 1975-1995.
Vice visited over 50 countries during his service for his country. He gave back to the community by serving in Gideons International; the Gadsden Kiwanis Club, where he served on the board and as president from 2012-2013; the Salvation Army, where he served on the advisory committee and board; and the Boy Scouts of America. He was awarded the Heart of the Eagle Award in 2009 by the Greater Council of the Boy Scouts of America and George F. Hixon Fellow Award in October of 2007 for his years of service to the Gadsden Kiwanis Club.
John Reed will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Reed was commissioned into the U.S. Army Reserve in 1973 and retired at the rank of Major in 1999. Reed has served his community as a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Alabama; a board member for J.W. Stewart Headstart Program; a board member for Riverview Regional Medical Center; a board member for CDP Project 2000; a board member for the Salvation Army of Etowah County; a board member for the United Way of Etowah County; a board member for the Industrial Development Authority; the former Chairman for Darden Rehabilitation; and the former chairman for the Greater Gadsden Housing Authority. He was awarded Best Veteran Representative for the state of Alabama for work with homeless and disabled military veterans three times by the Alabama American Legion, he was awarded Volunteer of the Year for Boy’s Club of Northeast Alabama.
Randall “Randy” Keith Holcomb will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Holcomb enlisted in the U.S. sNavy Reserve in 1969 and served seven years before he was honorably discharged in 1976. He received the National Defense Service Medal. While a member of White Springs Baptist Church, Holcomb was involved in building handicap ramps for those that could not afford the ex-pense themselves, served on church committees and volunteered with Helping Hands Food Ministry, which provides a month’s supply of food for families in need in the area. As a member of 12th Street Baptist Church, he serves as an usher and with Taste of Hope Ministry. Holcomb is an associate member of the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association and helps the organization with its various programs.
Glen Williams will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. As a member of the Gadsden Kiwanis Club, Williams has been involved in the Bike Project, Flag Program, and Pancake Day, and served as club president, board president and Kiwanis District Chair. Williams has served on the boards of Coosa Valley YMCA, Holy Comforter, Gadsden Kiwanis Club and the Barrie Center. Williams has donated his efforts to the committee for the Stingers Bike Ride. He has donated the use of his Foggy Hollow Farm to Carpenters for Christ and his church. He has organized benefit concerts for 2011 tornado relief and donated his band’s (also named Foggy Hollow) services to support local non-profits and helped organize musical concerts for non-profit events and the community.
Michael S. Barton will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. After witnessing several tragedies as a child, Barton was led to a career in public safety. Starting in 2000, Barton has proudly served the people of Etowah County as a licensed emergency medical technician, certified firefighter and certified law enforcement officer. Barton worked at the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office from 2005-2018, serving as school resource officer, deputy sheriff, criminal investigator, officer, assistant chief deputy of detention and chief deputy sheriff. He was a founding member of the Etowah County Special Operations Group and the County Arson Task Force. He has served on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and was appointed Special Deputy United States Marshall in the Northern District of Alabama. Barton has served on the Board of Directors for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Northeast Alabama and the Board of Directors of the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association. In 2018, he was appointed Director of Em-ergency Management for Calhoun County.
The final inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame is Donard Wayne Gore. Gore joined the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1945 at the age of 17. After boot camp, he received a general discharge from the U. S. Navy Reserve and was transferred into the U. S. Navy. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal. After receiving his Honorable Discharge in October 1947, Gore went home and completed his high school education. In 1956, Gore began a career at Redstone Missile Command Arsenal in Huntsville. He was later transferred to NASA and worked in the test support lab incorporating many kinds of metalwork in their various projects. His team built the first mock-up of the Saturn V power plant section.
In 1969, Gore became a private contractor providing helicopter maintenance in Vietnam. In 1974, he was awarded his master level teaching certificate and be-gan teaching at Foothills Vocational School in Greenville County, S.C., where he worked to accommodate special education students. After moving to Gadsden, Gore served disabled veterans by driving for the Gadsden DAV, where he received service awards from the Birmingham VA Medical Center. He also received a proclamation from the City of Gadsden in 2018 for his service.
Tickets for the event are $15 and may be purchased at the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association office located in the Gadsden Amphitheatre from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays. Most tables are presold, so there will be a limited number of tickets at the door. Please get your tickets early.
Sponsors for the event include The City of Gadsden, The Etowah County Commission and the Greater Gadsden Area Tourism Board.