Pine Belt realtors honor USM military at annual July 4th picnic

4th of July celebration all-star
4th of July celebration all-star(WDAM Staff)
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 7:42 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The All-Star Team, Realtors paid tribute to Pine Belt locals who have protected and served the country at their 21st Annual 4th of July Celebration.

As part of the festivities, Major General Jeff Hammond, founding director of USM’s Quinlan-Hammond Hall of Honor Military Center, received the Patriots of Freedom Award.

“A nation of moral courage, of character, of values, so I just pour it upon us all as we celebrate our birthday today,” said Hammond. “We may not forget we the people own this nation. That’s a nation in which God we trust.”

Co-owner of the All-Star Team, DeLois Smith, said the team really wanted to make this year’s event special by honoring those who made it possible.

“We were honoring two really special people in our community,” said Smith. “General Hammond is a very humble person and he wants to especially honor those 1,700 veteran students who have come to USM this year.”

The other local service member honored during the celebration was Dr. Richard Clatterbuck, who spent his time serving our country in the US Army Reserve Medical Corps. He is now a neurosurgeon in Hattiesburg.

“It’s so easy to get caught up in the family time and the celebration and the BBQ’s and everything, but I think it’s so important to remember what today is about,” said Clatterbuck. “I think remembering service and reflection and honoring the great vision of that small handful of patriots in 1776 had greater means for self-governance and the country that was built on the foundation of freedom of religion.”

Hammond said about 12% of the overall USM enrollment comes from the military center on campus.

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