The William F. Slemons Chapter 977 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy honored four veterans on April 30 at the Crosses of Military Service Ceremony during a luncheon at the Monticello Country Club. Those honored were David Anderson, a Vietnam veteran and former mayor of Monticello, Larry Fuller, a former Air Force veteran during the Korean Conflict, and Levin Johnson and Joe Rawls, both of Rison and both Army veterans who served during the Korean Conflict.
As Anderson was actively involved in the fighting during the Vietnam War, he was honored by having the Vietnam Cross of Military Service bestowed upon him. After Sue Johnson, Registrar, led the group in “Blest Be the Tie.” The National Defense Medal presentation ceremony followed for the other men. Fuller, Johnson, and Rawls were serving in the military at the time of the Korean Conflict but not actively in the fighting, which qualified them for National Defense Medals.
UDC president Beth Thurman presided over the luncheon and bestowal ceremony while Jan West, the Recorder of Military Crosses, assisted in the presentation.
Following the ceremony, the group heard a presentation by Richard Ledbetter, of Fordyce. Ledbetter is currently writing for the SEA Life, a magazine published by the Pine Bluff Commercial. He is an organic farmer, equestrian trainer, and the author of two books: “The Branch and the Vine” and “The Witness Tree”. Both are historical novels. The first tells of the exploits of Ledbetter’s great-grandfather and his brothers during their service under Nathan Bedford Forest during the War Between the States. The second is a sequel that tells about Reconstruction and the early days of Hot Springs. The novels contain regional history and heritage of Arkansas and the South.
Currently, Ledbetter is working on a third novel, as well as having acted in Derrick Sims’ new movie. He said his truck, which was used in the recently released film, Mud, starring Matthew McConahey, “upstaged him” as it was used many times during that movie.
Ledbetter’s books can be found online and in various locations in Cleveland and Jefferson counties.
Anyone from Southeast Arkansas is welcome to join the UDC.