All who served are

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 27, 2001

honored on Memorial Day


Features Editor

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If we’re not too busy enjoying a day off work and a backyard barbecue, for most people Memorial Day is a time for remembrance – of soldiers and poppy fields.

But, Memorial Day is not just reserved for those who served their country in times of war. It is a time to remember all who served and in many different ways.

Trojan Ollie Hood was a soldier, an educator and a friend. He has not been forgotten by his friends and his memory will live on because of the kind of man he was and the kind of service he rendered to his fellowman.

Hood died in October 2000 at the age of 87. He was a retired Army lieutenant colonel, a retired guidance counselor from Charles Henderson High School, a 37-year member of the Troy Kiwanis Club and was involved in a variety of community activities.

James Joyner, president of the Troy Kiwanis Club, said Hood was the kind of person who makes the world a better place and the Kiwanis Club wanted to to honor his memory and his many years of dedicated service to the club and the community.

The Kiwanis Club paid tribute to Hood by renaming the Reading is Fundamental program in his honor.

"Ollie Hood was very active in the RIF program," Joyner said. "He was always available to read to children at Troy Head Start. We respectfully renamed our RIF Reading Team the ‘Ollie Hood Reading Team.’ Ollie’s personal presence will be missed at RIF readings each year, but the legacy left by the impressions he made on the children of Pike and surrounding counties will continue to be in evidence for many years to come."

Because Hood believed that athletics make a person strong, study make a person wise and character makes a person great, the Ollie Hood memorial awards have been established at Troy State University. The awards will be presented annually to honor outstanding track athletes who are also model students and citizens.

The Ollie Hood Memorial Cross-Country Awards for 2001 were presented to Jennifer Lynch and Michael Green.

Lynch, a 2000-2001 freshman from Niceville, Fla., runs the 1500, 3000 and 5000 meter races. She has a GPA of 3,8 and is a biology major.

Green is a graduate student with a GPA of 3.9 and a physiology exercise major. He graduated in December 2000 with highest honors. Green is an NCAA Academic All-American, Conference Champion Cross-Country four times and Conference Champion 1500, 5000 10,000 meters twice.

Green’s home is England.

Ollie Hood has been honored by his home community. His service – as a soldier, an athlete and a community servant – is his legacy. He will live on through those he served and the lives he influenced.

On Memorial Day 2001, we remember Ollie Hood as a symbol of all of those who made the world a better place because they passed through it.

The Messenger staff encourages everyone to attend a Memorial Day service tomorrow

to pay tribute, publicly, to the "soldiers" who have served in times of war and of peace and to privately remember those who also served our communities and their fellowman.

Memorial Day services will be held at 9 a.m. at the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library in Brundidge and at 11 a.m. at Bicentennial Park in Troy.