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Pieces coming together for Kelly rededication

More individuals and groups have donated to the cause. Several people have have stressed their interest in buying an engraved brick for the monument.
Preparations for the Aug. 23 pregame presentation at Kelly Memorial Stadium will involving the unveiling of a new monument and a rededication ceremony befitting of an American hero.
And Maj. Charles L. Kelly certainly is a hero.
The “Father of Dustoff” Kelly, an Army helicopter pilot, died July 1, 1964, while rescuing the wounded in the Vietnam War.
Individuals closely involved in the planning process will be featured Aug. 7 on WTOC-TV on “Mid-Morning Live” to promote the event and encourage Vietnam veterans and other viewers from the Lowcountry to attend the game in honor of Kelly.
Before the Screven County Gamecocks battle their regular-season opening opponent St. Johns (S.C.) High School, a granite monument will be unveiled to commemorate Kelly. A special ceremony will follow on the field starting at approximately 7:05 p.m.
Kickoff for the game wll be the traditional 7:30 p.m., but the contest will be on a Saturday evening instead of the typical Friday.
Individuals can make a straight donation toward the new memorial or buy a $50 engraved brick.
On the brick, people can put their own name, their family, their community, or possibly even their business name.
The bricks will be part of the walkway up to the moment.
To make a donation to the monument or buy a brick, checks can be mailed to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7116 Commander Peter Mayer at 424 Runs Branch Road, Newington, GA 30446. Please make the checks payable to the VFW post and denote the contribution in the lower left as “Maj. Charles Kelly Rededication.”
If a someone would like an engraved, also enclose what name or names desired on the brick.
Local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7116 and the Friends of Maj. Charles Kelly Committee have been working in unison with several local and area groups on the event to honor Kelly and his family.
Kelly died from a single bullet to the heart 50 years ago when he was killed as he was warned out of a “hot” landing zone. Kelly’s reply to the request was, “When I have your wounded.”
As commander of the helicopter ambulance, Kelly assumed the call sign “Dustoff” which became the call sign for all other aeromedical missions in Vietnam. “When I have your wounded” would become the motto of the Dustoff pilots who succeeded Kelly who was with the 57th Medical Detachment from January to July 1964 as he was killed when he attempted to evacuate a wounded American advisor along with several South Vietnamese soldiers.
The stadium on Halcyondale Road was named in honor of Kelly Oct. 15, 1965, after the high school’s letterman’s club, the S Club, had sponsored a contest as students submitted potential names for the field. A committee of community leaders, civic clubs and school personnel then narrowed the list down to three. The school board reviewed the three choices; took them under advisement; and chose Kelly to be the namesake for the stadium.
Kelly was revered in his hometown of Sylvania, but he has been honored in other parts of the nation as well for his dedication.
At Fort Sam Houston in Texas, the Army heliport also is named in his honor.