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City honors World War II veterans
More than 40 area World War II veterans attended a picnic in their honor on Saturday at J.F. Gregory Park. Sponsored by the City of Richmond Hill, the event included a meal at the Wetlands Center. Fort Stewart’s 703rd BSB served as color guard and as attendants to the veterans.

The City of Richmond Hill hosted its first World War II Veterans Picnic on Saturday at J.F. Greogry Park.

There are 68 World War II veterans in the area -- and 48 were able to attend the event.

"Our mission is to thank veterans of the wars fought in a different time allowing us the freedoms for our current Veterans to fight and preserve our very precious way of life," said Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis. "They are leaving us at an alarming rate. Don’t let them go without letting them know how you feel. Share in their amazing stories of Normandy; learn about the great women that stepped up for the WAAC."

Among those who attended the event was Savannah’s James Chavis, 85, a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima.

"Survived without getting a scratch," he said. "I was lucky."

Also attending was Charlie Robeson, 91, who was driven up from Brantley County by his son James, a Vietnam Veteran.

Charlie Robeson served with the Army in Europe during the war. And though age had diminished his hearing, he was in high spirits.

"He was real proud of this," James Robeson said.

More than 20 WWII veterans were shuttled in from Savannah via a WWII Memorial Bus developed by Doug Andrews, President of the Savannah Veterans Council and local attorney.

Jan Bass, community development specialist for the City of Richmond Hill, coordinated the event for with the help of the Park and Tree Department and many volunteers.

The soldiers of the 703rd BSB also provided support.

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