I Am Local 6: American Legion Riders honoring veterans

MARTIN, TN — They say a soldier will die twice — first on the field of battle and again when he’s forgotten. American Legion Riders Post 55 are making sure that second death never happens.

Hammering and digging with honor. The riders are doing it for the veterans that protected our freedom, and for the families that will always remember them.

“All right, come on the other side here. Watch those edges on the bottom. We don’t want to get too deep on it,” one of the riders said.

WWII Veteran, Billy Simpson

WWII Veteran, Billy Simpson

Brooksie Simpson’s husband, Billy, died in 2013 as a World War II veteran. This week, she revisited his grave as the Legion Riders laid down his marker.

“We married in September the 15th, 1951,” Simpson said. “It kind of got to me, but I am so grateful that they did it and that they did it today. It makes it a great day for me.”

The American Legion Riders are installing the markers for free, but the families still want to pay them. They’re using that money to pay forward the next marker.

Charles Pounds was also a World War II veteran. He served in the Army for three years. His daughter, Pam Williamson, saw his marker placed this week.

WWII Veteran, Charles Pounds

“He was 94 years old, so he had a good, long life,” Williamson said. “Everybody in town knew him.”

Legions Rider Director Jackie Laird said it’s the least they can do for their brothers who gave us so much.

“There’s plenty of work out here to do,” Laird said. “In one local funeral home we checked, there are 100 foot markers laying there now. We don’t want anything from the family except for permission to put this down. That’s all we need. It’s what we’re supposed to do.”

The Legion Riders say the project has just begun.

If you know a family or need a veteran bronze marker installed for your family, contact Jackie Laird at 731-364-5766 for more information. Anyone who wants to help with the project can contact Laird or other Legion Riders members.

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