(Submitted) Members of the Anderson County Commission, during their regularly monthly meeting Monday night (Oct. 19th), honored local veteran Claude Martin.
In honor of Martin, who enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp when he was 15 years old, and served during both World War II and the Korean War, the County Commission approved a proclamation naming Friday, October 30, 2020, as Claude Martin Day in Anderson County.
Martin, a lifelong resident of Anderson County, was present at Monday night’s meeting to receive the proclamation, which was a surprise to him. The formal proclamation was signed by Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, Commission Chairman Josh Anderson, Director of Veteran Services Leon Jaquet, and County Clerk Jeff Cole.
County officials said Martin was shocked to receive the honor. “He was very surprised,” Jaquet stated in a press release.
“When I called Monday to remind Claude about the meeting that night, he said, ‘This is about the (American) Legion, right?’ So he didn’t have any idea about the proclamation,” the county’s Veteran Service officer said.
“It was a true honor to be a part of recognizing one of our county’s veterans, who, like many of our veterans here, has given so much for his country, his family and his fellow veterans,” Mayor Frank said. “Claude is very special to me, and I’m so thankful for all he’s done and continues to do.”
Martin is very proud of his military service and, almost four decades ago he was instrumental in creating a permanent Veterans Memorial at the Anderson County Courthouse. He personally compiled records of all Anderson County military service members who were either killed while serving or missing in action. Martin recruited members of the local and state branches of government to support the Veterans Memorial project, and he went door-to-door in the evenings and on weekends to raise money to build the structure. The Anderson County Courthouse Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1983.
Claude Martin has remained active in veterans’ events and activities, including his 64-year membership with the American Legion Post No. 172. He has especially enjoyed attending the monthly Community Veterans Appreciation Breakfasts, which have been put on hold by the current coronavirus pandemic.
In 2012, Martin also was named a member of the Anderson County Hall of Fame for his military service.