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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By USMC Pfc. Justin Boling

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From One Awardee To Another
(March 22, 2011)

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. (Mar. 18, 2011) - Bolden Elementary welcomed retired Maj. Gen. James Livingston and Cpl. Hummer to their school on March 11.
Livingston, a Medal of Honor recipient, spoke with the students about his experiences and the value of their education, while Cpl. Hummer, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island mascot, brought smiles to the students faces during their lunch period. Livingston also presented prizes to Lydia Moody, the winner of the Armed Forces Foundation Coloring Contest.

“The Marine Corps and my step dad gave me the idea for the car I colored,” said Moody. “He is currently in Afghanistan, and I love and miss him.”

For winning the contest Moody received a $500 savings bond, a new bicycle and a T-shirt and coin from the AFF.

“I was very surprised and honored to receive the award from Maj. Gen.
Brian Kirkpatrick, the middle school history teacher for Bolden Elementary, gives a certificate of appreciation to Maj. Gen. James Livingston, retired Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient, at Bolden Elementary March 11, 2011. Livingston was given the certificate to recognize how much his visit meant to the students and faculty of the school.
Brian Kirkpatrick, the middle school history teacher for Bolden Elementary, gives a certificate of appreciation to Maj. Gen. James Livingston, retired Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient, at Bolden Elementary March 11, 2011. Livingston was given the certificate to recognize how much his visit meant to the students and faculty of the school.
Lydia Moody, winner of the Armed Forces Foundation Coloring Contest, stands with Cpl. Archibald Hummer, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Mascot, and all of her prizes at Bolden Elementary March 11, 2011. According to Moody, the inspiration came form how much she loves her stepfather who is currently serving in Afghanistan.
Lydia Moody, winner of the Armed Forces Foundation Coloring Contest, stands with Cpl. Archibald Hummer, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Mascot, and all of her prizes at Bolden Elementary March 11, 2011. According to Moody, the inspiration came form how much she loves her stepfather who is currently serving in Afghanistan.
Livingston,” said Moody.” It was really cool to meet him.”

Livingston is one of only 16 living Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipients. He accredits his success to his Marines.

“I do not consider myself to be a hero, all who received this medal owe it to those that fought around us,” said Livingston. “We were all average Americans who rose to meet some amazing circumstance. “I was lucky and privileged to serve as I did, and I wear this medal for the 143 Marines I lost that day,” Livingston added.

According to the United States Marine Corps Training and Education Command website, www.tecom.usmc.mil, as a captain on May 2, 1968, Livingston earned the Medal of Honor for his gallantry and leadership while serving as the commanding officer of Company E, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines during the Vietnam War. Livingston maneuvered his men through 500 meters of rice paddy. While encountering heavy fire, Livingston ignored the wounds he received and the danger all around him as he moved to the areas of heaviest resistance to encourage his Marines to fight through the onslaught.

Livingston came to visit not only to tell his story and to present prizes but to share his wisdom with the students.

“I came to reach out to the students, share my experiences and hear theirs,” said Livingston. “I wanted to explain how important their parents are and how great our country is.”

“It is very important for students to experience history through the eyes of those who were there,” Livingston continued. “They have a thirst to learn and they cannot gain everything from the History Channel or the internet.”
Livingston also offered some advice to the students present about how important preparing for their future is.

“I want all of the students to not accept the minimum; I want them to always strive to do better, don't be happy with a B, go for an A,” said Livingston. “I want them to always strive to raise the bar and reach higher goals, and I promise them they will never look to their past and ask themselves, what if I tried harder.”

The value of having Livingston's experience and presence brought a special lesson for the students present.

“For the children to meet someone of the caliber of Major General Livingston is a special and very inspiring experience,” said Bill Yahres, the principal of Bolden Elementary. “He is a living hero that brings a past era to life and by sharing it with the students they can connect to and maintain that knowledge for the rest of their lives.”

Anyone can read about Livingston in the books that tell his story, or the citation that explains his actions that earned him the Medal of Honor, but when these students heard it from the same man who accomplished those feats it was surreal. The students of Bolden Elementary can continue the school's goal of raising the bar with guidance given by one of America's living heroes.

Article and photos By USMC Pfc. Justin Boling
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Copyright 2011

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