By Shavonne Potts email@example.com
SALISBURY — This year’s N.C. Aggressive Veterans Anteroom of Acclaim Chic of 2020 has amid it a above burghal councilman, a bounded historian and adept apostle with Rowan County ties.
This year’s consecration commemoration will be captivated about Saturday, Feb. 20, via agenda affair software Zoom. The Column batten with three of the inductees — Norris Dearmon, Kenneth Hardin and Rodney Cress — about the acclaimed achievement.
Each year, the nonprofit North Carolina Aggressive Veterans Anteroom of Fame, inducts a cardinal of North Carolina aggressive veterans. The veterans are generally nominated by family, accompany and added veterans. The nominees are again called by an absolute alternative committee, which is fabricated up of aggressive veterans. This is the third year for the consecration ceremony, and there are 18 inductees.
Norris Dearmon — U.S. Army
Dearmon acclimatized in Kannapolis by way of Gastonia with his ancestors a few months afterwards he was born. In Kannapolis, his ancestor formed at Cannon Mills, a abode Dearmon would afterwards work.
When he was 16, Dearmon formed at Cabarrus Mill, accepted as Cannon Mills Plant No. 4, for a brace of years. During his chief year in aerial school, Dearmon formed part-time at the A&P Tea Company and the mill.
In 1942, the aforementioned year he affiliated Dorothy “Dot” Pethel, he was drafted.
Dearmon recalled actuality appointed acting anatomical and accustomed all of the men’s annal on a bus from Kannapolis to Fort Bragg.
“I was accustomed seven canicule to bright up diplomacy and entered alive account at Fort Bragg, on Dec. 8, 1942,” he said.
He underwent a few canicule of testing and was again assigned to a 48-member medical accumulation and alien off to Kerns, Utah, for basal training. He underwent added tests and was told he could appear any medical academy he wanted.
He enrolled at Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, Colorado, and assigned to dental school. Dearmon and his wife, who abutting him in Colorado, would achieve in Aurora, abreast Denver.
After Dearmon completed dental training, he was beatific to the Army Air Transport Command Core Abject in Houlton, Maine, breadth he interned at the abject hospital’s dental clinic. Not connected after, Dearmon catholic to Presque Isle, Maine, breadth he would afterwards move assimilate an alive activity breadth in Europe.
On June 25, 1943, Dearmon accustomed at Turner Field at the Army Air Transport Command Core Abject in Iceland. It was there that Dearmon and Howard Libby, a doctor and aboriginal lieutenant, set up a dental dispensary at the base. The dispensary was the aboriginal and alone of its affectionate in the area, he said.
Dearmon recalled allowance to save a pilot whose even went bottomward in flames. The pilot and co-pilot were abominably burned, he said. The co-pilot afterwards died, but it was with the advice of claret claret infusions administered by Dearmon that aided in the adaptation of the pilot.
“He thanked me three months later,” he said.
Dearmon was advantageously absolved from the Army in January 1946 as a agents sergeant. He would go on to acknowledgment to assignment at Cannon Mills — breadth he was a systems analyst/computer programmer and administrator until his 1985 retirement.
Dearmon and Dot aloft four accouchement in Kannapolis. He endemic a accessibility abundance for seven years while his accouchement abounding college. He’s been alive in attention the history of Kannapolis and has been complex in Kannapolis History Associates, an alignment committed to attention the history of the city. He was one of the aboriginal associates of the alignment and has served as a adviser at its building aback it opened 1992. Dearmon was additionally alive in establishing the Gertrude and Foy Hinson History Room at the Kannapolis Library.
In November 2016, Dearmon was presented with the Order of the Connected Leaf Pine, which is the accomplished ceremoniousness accustomed by the governor to North Carolina citizens.
In December 2018, he was awarded the “Legionnaire of the Year” accolade from the Beaver-Pittman American Legion Column 115 for his outstanding administration and account to the post. He was the first-ever almsman of this award. He was additionally a columnist on Kannapolis history for the Salisbury Post.
He believes the Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant was one of his nominators.
“I anticipate it’s a abundant honor,” Dearmon said.
Kenny Hardin — U.S. Air Force
Hardin, a Salisbury native, was nominated by his son, Jared, who told him afterward.
Hardin said he’s never absolutely cared about accolades because, “you don’t do things for recognition.”
“You do things to advice added bodies and that’s consistently been my ambition aback in the aggressive aback I abutting and aback I did aggregate in the association over the aftermost 30 years that led up to me actuality recognized,” he said.
Hardin says he didn’t absolutely anticipate abundant about the accolade because there are abounding bodies nominated. This year, though, Hardin is one of aloof 18.
“So to be one of 18 bodies that were accustomed — that’s humbling,” Hardin said.
Hardin served four years with the Air Force, breadth he was stationed at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters. He additionally served two years alive assets at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
“I’m appreciative of it. I’m absolutely appreciative of this,” he said.
Hardin served from 2015 to 2017 on the Salisbury Burghal Council afore accident a bid for re-election bid and demography a footfall aback from accessible office. It was again aback Hardin became actively ill and his doctor told him he bare to accomplish some changes.
Hardin accustomed there were times he put his ancestors and accouchement additional to aggregate he was accomplishing in the community.
“So to get this accolade is affectionate of like a acknowledge you to them, my absolute ancestors for acknowledging me,” he said.
Hardin said he enjoyed his time in the military, which he credits for allowance him to mature. Hardin said he had no abstraction what he capital to do with his life. Afterwards aerial school, he enrolled at Catawba College, was a DJ on the campus radio base and WSAT radio. He admits he spent added time on the radio than in class.
Hardin says his grades were sub-par and his dad encouraged him to try article else. That article abroad was the military.
When he got out of the military, he enrolled at Pfeiffer University. This time around, he was added focused and accelerating magna cum laude with a ancestors and alive a full-time job.
“It gave me a lot of opportunities,” he said.
He’s generally encouraged youth, if they don’t apperceive what they appetite to do aloft admission aerial school, to accompany the military.
“You can’t go wrong. It absolutely was a absolution in my life,” he said.
Hardin additionally credits the aggressive with giving him the faculty of absent to consistently advice others. He fabricated constant accompany in the military, some of whom he speaks with daily.
Hardin has been a assistant of the association connected afore he served as a burghal councilman. The articulate association activist began in the 1990s walking the areas of Bank, Horah and Institute streets and animadversion on doors to get signatures ambitious the burghal install added artery lights.
He is additionally the co-founder of Tsunami Development, a chargeless after-school articulacy program. Hardin additionally served at the face of the association activist group, The Chamber, and formed with the Night Crawlers. He additionally volunteered with Man Up Monday and formed with the ABC Board and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Game Plan for Life.
In 2017, he formed with the ancestors of Fred Evans and the burghal to accession abundant money so accouchement could bathe for chargeless at the burghal endemic basin throughout the summer.
Rodney Cress — U.S. Army
Cress said actuality listed in the anteroom of acclaim with bristles Medal of Account recipients and several backbone recipients is “very humbling.”
“For over 30 years, I accept approved to pay aback to all veterans how beholden I am for the advantage to serve and be a allotment of this abundant aggregation of veterans and heroes,” Cress said.
Unless one has been in the trenches, lived in the carrion of the boscage and foxholes, apparent the sacrifices and courage of the adolescent and activated aboriginal aid to save a life, no one can accept like a adept can, Cress said.
“It’s a life-changing acquaintance and will be until curtains are played for the aftermost time,” he said.
Cress, a Rowan built-in and bounded articulation for veterans, abutting the Army in 1970. He’s accustomed added awards for his courage in activity including the brownish brilliant for backbone and merit. The brownish brilliant was accustomed for his accomplishments afterward a 1971 ambuscade advance in Vietnam. Cress and his adolescent army were aloof the breadth to ensure it would be safe afterwards that night aback they were accursed upon. He positioned himself and the added men to activity aback adjoin the ambuscade attack.
Cress has additionally accustomed the Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Account Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Activity Infantry Badge and been called an able marksman.
After a connected career and retirement, Cress connected to apostle for veterans.
In 2006, he singlehandedly calm 2,250 books and alien them to troops in Iraq. He’s additionally calm 27,000 tubes of lip analgesic donated by FillTech USA in Rockwell that were alien to troops in Iraq in 2010.
In 2010, Cress served as a board affiliate for the Flight of Account for WWII vets. The Flight of Account provides annular trips for veterans to appointment war memorials and added sites in Washington, D.C., for free.
The aforementioned year, Cress formed a political activity board for veterans. He fought to change the accompaniment Medicaid fiduciary laws affecting veterans and has volunteered as a adept apostle acceptable abounding with veterans’ claims.
Cress said he meets several times a year with a adept communication from the appointment of Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis as able-bodied as Rep. Richard Hudson. In 2016, Cress was best to serve amid eight others to Burr’s adept affiliation team.
In May 2008, as carnality administrator of the Rowan County Apartment Authority, Cress activated for and accustomed over $230,000 in allotment beneath HUD for abandoned veterans, which has now been able to accommodate apartment for 90 veterans.
He is a almsman of the governor’s accolade for adept advance service, the Order of the Connected Leaf Pine for his aggressive advancement assignment and the MLK Humanitarian Award.
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