Compatriot Robert Lee "Bob" Bowen passed away on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2020, in Fredericksburg. Bob was president of the Virginia SAR 2010-2011, and was also Vice President General of the International District 2007-2008 and Historian General 2012-2013. He was a member of both the Colonel Fielding Lewis Chapter, serving as president, and the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, serving as vice-president.
"Robert "Bob" Lee Bowen passed away on November 25, 2020, after a long struggle with COPD. He was born January 12, 1941 in Huntington, W. VA. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Helen R. Bowen, whom he often referred to as "the wind beneath his wings," his 5 children from his first wife, son, Jack Bowen & wife Kathy from Kilmarnock, VA, daughter, Donna B. Roy & husband Timothy of Virginia Beach, VA, son Bob O. Bowen & wife Reina of Virginia Beach, VA, sons Alan M. Bowen and Brian T. Bowen both from Norfolk, VA, his sister, Dolores Cooper of Norfolk, VA and 3 step-children, Brenda DeGrasse and Brian Seeling both from Spotsylvania, VA, and Ralph De Grasse of Chalmette, LA. He also leaves behind numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Benton Bowen, Sr. and Mary Ella Bowen, and his brother, Thomas Benton Bowen, Jr. "Once A Marine Always A Marine," he dedicated his life to serving his country. He enlisted in 1960 and served tours at Quantico, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Station on Okinawa and Leatherneck Magazine. While at Leatherneck, he served three tours as a combat correspondent in Vietnam. He was selected to attend a special graduate-level, two-semester program (1967-68) in photojournalism at Syracuse University, where he graduated first in his class. His reward was another tour as a combat correspondent in Vietnam, this time with the First Marine Division. He was selected for warrant officer in 1969 and promoted in 1970. While serving as Chief, Photojournalism Instruction at the Defense Information School in Indianapolis, he was selected for the Limited Duty Officer program and promoted a first lieutenant. A four-year tour as Station Manager of the Far East Radio and Television Station at Misawa Air Base, Japan, followed. Captain Bowen retired in 1980 while serving as the Marine Corps Spokesman in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs at the Pentagon. He retired a second time in 1996 following government service as a public affairs officer and writer/editor with the State Department, Justice Department and Voice of America. Military medals and decorations include Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Heart Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, Navy Achievement Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award, and Combat Action Ribbon, among others. Photos made by Robert Bowen in Vietnam earned him the title "Runner-up, Military Photographer of the Year" in 1967. He was inducted into Kappa Alpha Mu, the National Honorary Fraternity in Photojournalism at the University of Missouri in 1972. While still serving on active duty, he served as Commander of Woodbridge Post 364 of The American Legion. He served as Virginia's State Commander of the Legion in 1991-92 and as National Vice Commander in 1996-97. He was also active in the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He has served as President of the Fielding Lewis Chapter in Fredericksburg, Virginia, President of the Virginia Society of the SAR in 2010-11, National Vice President General in 2007-08, and Historian General in 2013-14. Some of his more recent accomplishments included publication of his book in 2017, "My Life and Lens, The Story of A Marine Corps Combat Correspondent," and republication of his articles including the photo cover of the November 2019 issue of Leatherneck Magazine. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends, but leaves behind many cherished memories. He will be laid to rest at Quantico National Cemetery in a private ceremony. Donations may be made in his memory to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Semper Fi "
On Nov. 20, new members, L to R, Louis (Cris) Simmons, Richard Mayfield, and Robert Neely were sworn in and received their National Society Sons of the American Revolution certificates from Williamsburg Chapter President Roger Cross in a ceremony at Freedom Park in James City County. Submitted by Harley Stewart.
A Chapter Medal of Distinguished Service was awarded to William Greaf (on right) by Roger Cross (on left), Chapter President, in a ceremony at Freedom Park, James City County, on Nov. 20. The medal was given by the chapter president to Greaf in recognition of his conspicuous service to the Chapter.
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
Ms. Sarah Whiting spoke to the Williamsburg Chapter in a zoom meeting on November 14, 2020. Her topic was “Patrick Henry at St. John’s Church. One voice that changed the world.” Henry, of course, is famous for his “give me liberty or give me death” speech to the 2nd Virginia convention in 1775 at that church. But Whiting covered the life of Henry before and after his speech and also the history of St. John’s Church in Richmond. Ms. Whiting is Executive Director of St. John’s Foundation and also spearheads the funding and preservation of the Church.
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
On Nov. 14 in a ceremony at Freedom Park, James City County, near the SAR Marker for the Battle of Spencer’s Ordinary, awards were presented to Chapter members by President Roger Cross.
From the left, Ron Losee, Registrar – Ten-Year Membership and Virginia Society Medal
Jim Hess, Treasurer – Virginia Society Chapter Service Medal
Steve McGuffin, Vice President – Appreciation Certificate
Ben Fegan, Past President – Ten-Year Membership
Chapter President, Roger Cross
Don Swain, Past President – Fifteen-Year Membership
Reggie Beane, Past President – Thirty-Year Membership
William Greaf, Past President – Chapter Distinguished Service Medal
Dave Westenberger, Newsletter/Website – Distinguished Service Certificate
Not pictured, Harley Stewart, Public Relations – Distinguished Service Certificate
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
On 14 November 2020, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia SAR combined with the Wayside Inn, Middletown to conduct a Flag Retirement Ceremony. These ceremonies honor the symbol of American freedom. When a flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it is to be destroyed in a dignified manner. Over 40 flags were gathered from the community that were no longer serviceable. These flags were burned with the proper respect due a symbol of all that was emblematic of a Nation of free men, devoted to the ideals and practice of freedom and democracy. They were replaced in a never ending cycle of new flags proudly displayed to reflect the qualities that make our nation great. The ceremony was conducted by Dale Corey with chaplain duties performed by Jim Simmons. A color guard presented the colors led by Brett Osborn. Included in the guard were Erick Moore, Marc Robinson, Chip Daniel, Marty Keesecker, Nathan Poe, Charles Harbaugh (Mayor of Middletown), Sean Carrigan, Clay Robinson, Allan Phillips, Eric Robinson and drummer Doug Hall. Pictures are provided courtesy of Allan Phillips. The first picture is the Color Guard consisting of Brett Osborn, Erick Moore, Marc Robinson, Chip Daniel, Marty Keesecker, Nathan Poe, Paul Christensen, Charles Harbaugh, Sean Carrigan, Clary Robinson, Allan Phillips and Eric Robinson. The second picture is Clay Robinson, Doug Hall and Flag Detail Chip Daniel, Marc Robinson and Erick Moore.
Submitted by Dale Corey
On Nov. 14 the Williamsburg Chapter presented a Flag Recognition Certificate for exemplary patriotism in display of the American Flag to Joseph and Shirley Suzadial, who proudly display and care for the flag of our great nation at their home in James City County. Mr. Suzadial is a veteran of the US Navy. Pictured L to R is Shirley Suzdial, Joseph Suzadial, and George Corbett, chair of the chapter flag recognition committee.
Photo by: Karen Corbett
Submitted by: Harley Stewart
VASSAR Chancellor Monday Appointed to VA General Assembly to the Commission for the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution
VASSAR Chancellor and Colonel George Waller Chapter compatriot Eric Monday has been appointed by the Virginia General Assembly to the Commission for the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. The purpose of the Commission is to plan, develop, and perform programs and activities to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, the Revolutionary War, and the independence of the United States. Compatriot Monday is one of 24 members, including legislators and representatives of several key historical organizations, and his term on this commission is set to expire along with the life of the Commission itself. His seat on the commission represents the Virginia Bar Association.
Compatriot Monday provided the following quotes in speaking about this at last evening's Martinsville City Council Meeting. "It’s a pretty big deal for Virginia," he said. "This will literally mean hundreds of millions of dollars to the Commonwealth of Virginia". Virginia's efforts in this area will compliment a larger effort at the federal level to commemorate the 250th anniversary.
Mr. Monday is the Martinsville City Attorney, Assistant City Manager, and is the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution State Chancellor. It is of obvious significance to the Virginia Society and to the CGW Chapter for him to be serving on this commission.
Submitted by Bob Vogler and Andy Doss - CGW Chapter
During the week of Veterans Day, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Color Guard participated in three (3) Veterans Day Ceremonies. Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. It commemorated the veterans of World War I, for which an armistice end the fighting at 11:00, 11 November 1918. In June of 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed to officially end the War to end all Wars. In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed 11 November to be the first commemoration of the victory. It was 4 June 1926 that Congress passed a concurrent resolution to officially recognize the end of the Great War. On 13 May 1936 an act was passed to officially recognize 11 November as a national holiday known as Armistice Day. In 1954, because of World War II and the Korean War, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars.
On 10 November 2020, in coordination with the American Red Cross, VFW and AMVets, a private ceremony to honor veterans was held at National Cemetery, Winchester. The SAR color bearers Marc Robinson, Allan Phillips and Sean Carrigan led veterans Ralph Hensley and Anthony Barns as they presented a wreath. Charles Hunter played Taps to honor veterans of all wars. On 11 November, the SAR Color Guard presented colors for Middletown during their 5th annual ceremony to honor veterans. Due to inclement weather, it was conducted indoors at the Middletown Fire Station. Ray Steele emcee'd with Rev. Clay Knick providing chaplain services. SgtMaj Richard Van Norton, Jr. USMC (Ret.) was the guest speaker. The Color Guard consisted of musket men Brett Osborn and Allan Phillips, flag bearers Marc Robinson, Erick Moore, Dennis Parmerter and Dale Corey with sentinels Paul Christensen, Eric Robinson and Sean Carrigan. A wreath was presented by Mayor Charles Harbaugh, IV and SgtMaj Van Norton, followed by a three volley rifle salute by VFW Post 2123. This was followed by Taps played by Andrew Paul. On 12 November 2020, the Color Guard presented a ceremony to the Commonwealth Senior Living Facility in Front Royal. Participating for the SAR were Dale Corey, Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke, Marc Robinson, Dennis Parmerter, Doug Hall, Allan Phillips and Sean Carrigan. The first photo is the CJWII Color Guard at National Cemetery. Pictured from l. to r. Sean Carrigan, Allen Phillips, Kelly Ford, Dale Corey, Marc Robinson and Dennis Parmerter. The second photo is the CJWII Color Guard at Middletown Fire Station. Pictured from l. to r. Brett Osborn, Marc Robinson, Erick Moore, Dennis Parmerter, Dale Corey and Allan Phillips. The third photo is the CJWII Color Guard at Commonwealth Senior Living Facility. Pictured from l. to r. Bill Schwetke, Marc Robinson, Dennis Parmerter, Doug Hall, Allan Phillips and Sean Carrigan. Photos courtesy of Allan Phillips.
Submitted by Dale Corey
Men and women of local patriotic organizations, the Williamsburg Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, the Williamsburg Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, and the American Friends of Lafayette participated in an official commemoration of our national Veterans Day in a virtual presentation of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation on November 11, 2020. It was remarked by George Washington, portrayed by Ron Carnegie, that we are a free people today because of the service of citizen soldiers, for which we as a nation are grateful and for which we thank them all.
Pictured, L to R, are veterans of six services of the United States of America – Paul Higgins (Navy), April Martinez (Navy), Robert Schmidt (Coast Guard), David Westenberger (Marine Corps), Jeffrey Wooldridge (Space Force), Celia Adolphi (Army), Eleanor Hunter (Air Force), Roger Cross (Army), and Reginald Beane (Air Force). Beane, with Eleanor Hunter in the second picture, is a veteran of World War II having served in the Army Air Corps. In the third picture are Celia Adolphi, Regent of the Wiiliamsburg Chapter DAR, and Roger Cross, President of the Williamsburg Chapter SAR.
Participating from the SAR were Schmidt, Westenberger, Wooldridge, Cross, and Beane. Participating from the DAR were Martinez, Adolphi, and Hunter. Participating from the AFL was Higgins.
Submitted by: Harley Stewart