NORTH FULTON, Ga. — Two local military veterans have been selected to join a handful of veterans statewide who have been inducted this year into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame.
This is the seventh year that the nonprofit has honored Georgia veterans after it was established in 2013 by the Georgia State Senate. Fifteen veterans, chosen by an independent selection committee, are inducted each November.
This year’s inductees include former Staff Sgt. Richard F. Dundon, a Vietnam veteran living in Johns Creek, and former U.S. Army medical specialist and Roswell resident Roger W. Wise, Jr.
Hall of Fame Co-Director and Chairman of the Board Col. Rick White said this year’s inductees were chosen for demonstrating one of three categories: valor for heroic action in combat; outstanding achievement while in service; or significant local, state or national contributions after leaving active duty.
Wise said the nomination came as a shock.
“When I received the call from Col. White, at first, I thought he was playing a joke on me,” Wise said. “But when I found out he was serious and advised me that I would be inducted in the class of 2019, I started crying… I felt humbled reading the resumes of the membership of the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame. You see great patriots, those that have given much for their country. I feel honored to be part of their team.”
Wise has kept busy after he was honorably discharged in January 1967. Since then, he has dedicated himself to volunteering and supporting various charitable enterprises. Some of the causes he has worked with include children’s healthcare, senior’s aftercare and veteran’s affairs.
He has been commended by former Gov. Nathan Deal, Sen. Johnny Isakson and former House Rep. Tom Price for his help in streamlining the state veteran’s hospital system.
Some of Wise’s recognitions include Outstanding Georgia Citizen in 2014, Senate designated Roger Wise, Jr. Day on March 13, 2014 and Rotary District 6900 Club Builder Award in 2015.
“I am humbled to be selected to serve with these great patriots,” Wise said. “God has blessed me in many ways, and this is but yet another blessing from Him for me and my family.”
Dundon, who was drafted in 1968 right out of college, served in the lst Cavalry Division when it was ambushed in 1969 in the Song Be Province.
“Disregarding his own safety, he crawled through enemy lines to direct accurate fire support, resulting in the retreat of hostile forces and the capture of a wounded enemy soldier who would later provide vital intelligence of enemy positions and munitions caches,” said Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame spokesperson Marilyn Weitzel. “For this feat of heroism, he was awarded the Silver Star.”
Dundon again came under intense hostile fire the next year to ensure the successful completion of his mission, Weitzel added. His actions earned him the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device, the fourth highest military decoration for valor.
“All I can recall is fear and trepidation — in Vietnam it was more of the same,” Dundon said. “I remember coming home and getting off the plane and kissing the ground. I do not consider myself a heroic military veteran… I am a survivor who carries the scars and memories of those we lost and what I went through. It never goes away.”
Photos of the two new inductees will hang on the Heroes Wall of the Floyd Building in the State Capitol Complex in Atlanta along with the previous 100 inductees.
The ceremony and banquet honoring this year’s inductees will be held Saturday, Nov. 2 starting at 6 p.m. at the St. Luke Ministry Center, 301 11th St., Columbus. It is open to the public.
For more information about the Hall of Fame, visit GMVHOF.org.