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On Sunday, May 28, 2023, the LaFollette Methodist Church joined together with the Campbell
County Community to remember the sacrifices that 645,000 Americans have made in defense of our
Country since World War I. The Honor Guard of Campbell County attended along with many
other local veterans. Marvin Bolinger’s, Colonel, US Army Retired, message was titled, “The
Costs of Freedom.” Colonel Bolinger also offered the benediction in the front yard of the Church at
the conclusion of Taps and the 21-gun Salute.
Gail Herrin Brown selected the music and Sherri Powell sang Amazing Grace.
Prior to Colonel Bolinger’s powerful message, Vickie McNeeley Sewell accepted the Korean
War Service Medal from Lieutenant Colonel Logan Hickman, US Army Retired, on behalf of her
father, Captain Albert McNeeley.
The Korean War Service Medal was established in 1951 by the Government of the Republic of
Korea for presentation to the foreign military personnel who served on or over the Korean
Peninsula or in its territorial waters between June 27, 1950, and July 27, 1953. However, it was
not approved by the US Government for acceptance and wear until 1999. In the early 2000s and
at the 50th Anniversary of the Korea War, communities like ours presented these medals to its
Korean War heroes. On this day, the Korean War Service Medal was posthumously awarded to
Captain Albert McNeeley.
Albert McNeeley is a 1939 graduate of LaFollette High School. He attended the University of
Tennessee, but like many members of the greatest generation, Uncle Sam called, and he entered
military service. Captain McNeeley served in the Army Air Corps from October 9, 1942, to
March 23, 1946. In October 1943, he received his silver wings after graduation at Kelly Field,
Texas. His wife was on hand for the ceremony.
Experienced pilots were in demand when the US entered the Korean War. CPT McNeeley found
himself in uniform again. This time with the US Air Force. He was a crewmember of a B-29A
Superfortress Bomber with the 372nd Bomber Air Squadron, 307th Bomber Wing based at
Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. On September 13, 1951, the aircraft was on a combat mission when
it crashed into a mountain near Taem-don, South Korea killing all 14 servicemen on board. He
left behind a wife and three daughters.
President Harry Truman sent the family a letter that states, “He stands in the unbroken line of
patriots who have dared to die that freedom might live and grow and increase its blessings.
Freedom lives. And through it, he lives – in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men.”
CPT McNeeley’s descendants include his daughter Vickie, son-in-law, David, his grandchildren,
Rusty, Donn, and Rebecca, and his great-grandchildren, Thomas, Rusty, Mac, and Georgia.
Lieutenant Colonel Bill Grieve, US Army Retired offered this opening prayer.
“Dear God, on this Memorial Day weekend, we remember and honor the brave men and women
who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. We are forever grateful for their selfless
service and dedication to defending our freedom. We also pay tribute to the families and loved ones of those who gave their lives in service to our country. We recognize the sacrifice that they have made and express our deepest sympathies and
gratitude. May we always remember the fallen and honor their legacy by continuing to uphold the values
for which they fought and died. Amen”
Campbell County Honor Guard
Campbell County Korean War Killed in Action
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