Veterans of the American Armed Forces, active-duty military personnel, and the general public are invited to a celebration of Military Appreciation Month at McCown Auditorium on Saturday, May 6 at 1 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Horry County Museum and the United Bank Center for Military & Veteran Studies at Coastal Carolina University in recognition of National Military Appreciation Month, which is the month of May.
The event will include public recognition of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and active-duty members of the U.S. military in attendance, and will also feature a special screening of the new documentary film Courage in Korea: A Soldier’s Story.
The documentary presents the little-known story of the Korean War through the experiences of the late Sergeant Paul Thompkins, a Korean War veteran from Conway, South Carolina. Thompkins, who became a local pastor after the war, was engaged in combat in Korea with the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division, was captured when U.S. lines were overrun by the Chinese army, and spent more than two-and-a-half years as a prisoner-of-war in North Korea’s Communist prison camps.
“Sergeant Thompkins’ story is a very moving, memorable, and appropriate subject for observing Military Appreciation Month,” said Rod Gragg, who is one of the film’s producers and the director of the United Bank Center for Military & Veteran Studies. “Courage in Korea is an important reminder of the extraordinary service of a generation of American veterans who served in the U.S. military during the Korean War, and whose experiences in many ways typify all members of the American Armed Forces.”
The month of May was officially recognized as Military Appreciation Month by a resolution in the United States Senate in 1999. May was chosen for the honor because of the large number of military-related holiday during the month, including Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, V-E Day, and Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Recognition of Military Appreciation Month was intended by the U.S. Senate to honor the service and sacrifices rendered by members of the U.S. military over the ages.
Admission is free to the May 6th event. The McCown Auditorium is located on the campus of the Horry County Museum and the Horry County Memorial Library at 805 Main Street in Conway.
“We invite members of the public to attend this celebration of Military Appreciation Month,” said Marian Haynes Calder, Assistant Director of the Horry County Museum. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to express gratitude to members and veterans of our Armed Forces while joining them for a very special documentary and inspiring story.”