Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Summerville, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.
My name is Dan Crance - Summerville's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.
Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Summerville, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.
Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.
In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.
As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.
At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Summerville, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.
With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Summerville, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.
30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.
FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.
VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Summerville, SC - Dan Crance.
Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.
FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.
Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.
Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.
Forklift maker Kion is moving production of the lithium-ion batteries that power its products to its North American headquarters in Summerville as part of a $40 million expansion that will add 450 jobs to the company’s Lowcountry site — roughly doubling its operations and workforce.The 250,000-square-foot expansion is part of the company’s “Project Home Turf,” which aims to bring production closer to customers, according to marketing director Steve Coleman.A groundbreaking for the new manufacturing...
Forklift maker Kion is moving production of the lithium-ion batteries that power its products to its North American headquarters in Summerville as part of a $40 million expansion that will add 450 jobs to the company’s Lowcountry site — roughly doubling its operations and workforce.
The 250,000-square-foot expansion is part of the company’s “Project Home Turf,” which aims to bring production closer to customers, according to marketing director Steve Coleman.
A groundbreaking for the new manufacturing facility, which will be highly automated, will take place Dec. 1 at the Eastport Industrial Complex off U.S. 78. The expansion is scheduled for completion in 2024.
“The market is shifting its focus to electric forklifts and to lithium-ion batteries and alternative fuels,” Coleman said. “It’s a big part of the change we’re going through as an industry now, and we’re trying to keep up with that change.”
Kion, which has its world headquarters in Frankfurt, is also moving production of some components that had been built overseas to its Summerville factory. They include the counterbalances that let front-load forklifts carry heavy objects. Coleman said counterbalances for forklifts using both battery-powered and internal combustion engines will be added to the local manufacturing process.
The move, he said, is intended to tailor Kion’s lineup of machines more toward U.S. buyers.
“The U.S. is so different to everywhere else, and in the past we’ve kind of pushed the European products here in the United States,” Coleman said. “And it doesn’t work, because we have a different operation here and a completely different marketplace. So, these products are designed for the North American market.”
Volvo Cars was one of the first manufacturers to adopt the company’s battery powered forklifts, announcing in 2017 that they would be a mainstay in the automaker’s Ridgeville plant that aims to be carbon-neutral by 2040.
Kion has been in an expansion mode in recent years, with the addition of a 31,000-square-foot site for storage of high-demand parts and another 196,000 square feet for additional production. The company has also established a training center to support about 400 dealer technicians with in-person training and another 1,200 via webinars.
Daniel Schlegel, Kion’s vice president of customer service, told The Post and Courier this year that the investment is an “important milestone of our North American growth strategy,” adding it “puts the necessary foundation in place to provide state-of-the-art aftermarket support” to the company’s dealer network.
Dorchester County Council approved property tax breaks for the latest expansion during a Nov. 21 meeting.
Kion has been around for more than 100 years. It was established toward the end of the 19th century as Baker Motor Vehicle Co., an early pioneer of the electric car business. In 1985, the German-owned company moved its main North American production site — and, later, its U.S. headquarters — to Summerville.
The football state semifinals for South Carolina high school football are Friday night and there are several intriguing matchups. Let's take a look.5-AUpper StateDutch Fork (12-1) at Gaffney (9-3)Here it is, the rematch of last year's state championship game, won 22-19 by Gaffney. Now they're in the Upper State together. Dutch Fork’s only loss was to national power St. Francis Academy. The Silver Foxes are loaded with stars. Jarvis Green, the James Madison c...
The football state semifinals for South Carolina high school football are Friday night and there are several intriguing matchups. Let's take a look.
Dutch Fork (12-1) at Gaffney (9-3)
Here it is, the rematch of last year's state championship game, won 22-19 by Gaffney. Now they're in the Upper State together. Dutch Fork’s only loss was to national power St. Francis Academy. The Silver Foxes are loaded with stars. Jarvis Green, the James Madison commit, has run for 1,849 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also has 29 catches for 418 yards and 4 TDs.
Quarterback Aliam Appler has thrown for 1,372 yards and 12 TDs while also running for 10 TDs. Jacob Hamilton has 28 catches for 550 yards and 5 TDs. ... Duke commit Grayson Loftis has thrown for 2,677 yards and 19 TDs with 9 interceptions for Gaffney. The Indians’ top runner is Quashon Tate with 963 yards and 10 TDs.
Summerville (11-2) at Fort Dorchester (10-3)
Summerville’s defense has allowed 13 points in three playoff games, while pitching a pair of shutouts. The Green Wave beat Sumter 7-0 last week on Yannick Smith’s 75-yard run. ... Fort Dorchester has dominated all three of its playoff opponents. Zavian Brown ran for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns in last week’s 39-21 win over Carolina Forest.
Northwestern (12-1) at Greenville (10-3)
Northwestern has overwhelmed all three playoff opponents. Sophomore quarterback Finley Polk has thrown for 2,919 yards and 33 TDs with 9 interceptions. He has five rushing TDs. Turbo Richard has run for 1,876 yards and 23 TDs. His backup, Zilon Arnold, has 15 TDs. ... West Virginia commit Elijah Caldwell has 63 catches for 1,223 yards and 17 TDs. Jammer Perry has six interceptions.
South Florence (13-0) at A.C. Flora (13-0)
Talk about a heavyweight matchup. South Florence, behind Syracuse commit LaNorris Sellers at quarterback, has steamrolled three playoff opponents. So has A.C. Flora. Sellers can beat you throwing or running equally well. The top running back is Shikeem Shilow and Evin Singletary heads up the receivers. ... Markell Townsend leads A.C. Flora with 2,505 yards and 36 TDs on the ground. Quarterback Carew Bates has thrown for 1,682 yards and 25 TDs with just 3 interceptions. Chris Lofton has 54 catches for 804 yards and 8 TDs.
Powdersville (12-1) at Clinton (13-0)
Powdersville ended Daniel’s run of two straight state championships and 36 consecutive wins last week. Quarterback Eli Hudgins threw two long TD passes - 58 yards to Kyle Rice and 74 yards to Drake Sloan - while running for two more. ... Clinton has won comfortably in all three of its playoff games. Bryson James ran for three TDs and Jishun Copeland raced 95 yards for a score in last week’s 49-27 win over Chapman.
Beaufort (11-1) at Dillon (13-0)
Converted wide receiver Kacy Fields is Beaufort’s top running back and he's having a standout season. The Eagles have won 11 in a row after losing their opener to Fort Dorchester. Colton Phares had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and grabbed a key interception in last week's 31-21 win over Gilbert. Fields had 140 yards and 2 TDs. ... Dillon has won its three playoff games by margins of at least 17 points.
Saluda (11-2) at Abbeville (11-2)
The Tigers, who won the 2019 state championship, are peaking at the right time. Tyleke Mathis had a pair of touchdowns in Saluda’s 28-0 win over Strom Thurmond last week. ... Abbeville has won nine in a row. The Panthers have routed all three playoff opponents.
Andrew Jackson (11-2) at Oceanside Collegiate (11-1)
Andrew Jackson tailback Trey Thompson has run for 2,285 yards and 34 TDs. The Volunteers don't throw much but Banks Helms has 26 catches for 440 yards and 7 TDs. Cullen Ussery has six interceptions. ... Oceanside’s Vaughn Blue, a Charlotte commit, has 936 yards and 7 TDs rushing despite missing 6 games due to injury. The Landsharks’ lone loss was 29-28 to South Florence and they beat 5-A playoff teams Sumter and Carolina Forest.
St. Joseph’s Catholic (11-2) at Christ Church Episcopal (12-1)
St. Joseph’s beat defending state champion Southside Christian 29-28 in the second round and routed Wagener-Salley 55-0 last week. ... Christ Church quarterback Woods Windham has thrown for 2,086 yards and 26 TDs with just 2 interceptions. Jackson Repp, a sophomore, has 33 catches for 708 yards and 11 TDs. Dashun Reeder has run for 1,820 yards and 36 TDs. Carson Shaw has 14 sacks and 23 tackles for loss.
Cross (11-2) at Johnsonville (12-0)
Cross has two 1,000-yard rushers. Santory Jones has 1,558 yards and 15 TDs. Carmello Montgomery has 1,125 yards and 23 TDs. Karmello Jones leads the defense with 12 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 3 fumble recoveries. ... Johnsonville held off Bamberg-Ehrhardt 14-7 in the second round and Lamar 14-0 last week.
NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 22, 2022 – South Carolina State had fourteen (14) Bulldogs named to the All-MEAC honoree teams, as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced its postseason football honors, presented by TowneBank.NC Central led the way with seven First Team All-MEAC selections, followed by Howard with six and then South Carolina State with five.All awards and honors were voted on by the league’s head football coaches and sports information directors.In partnership with the National Football Found...
NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 22, 2022 – South Carolina State had fourteen (14) Bulldogs named to the All-MEAC honoree teams, as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced its postseason football honors, presented by TowneBank.
NC Central led the way with seven First Team All-MEAC selections, followed by Howard with six and then South Carolina State with five.
All awards and honors were voted on by the league’s head football coaches and sports information directors.
In partnership with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, the MEAC will announce its Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year as part of the festivities surrounding the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
Earning First Team accolades were, wide receiver Shaquan Davis, offensive lineman Nick Taiste, defensive lineman Patrick Godbolt, linebacker BJ Davis and defensive back Duane Nichols.
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Robert Mitchell, North Carolina Central
Rookie of the Year: Marquis Gillis, Delaware State
Coach of the Year: Trei Oliver, North Carolina Central
First Team Offense
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Davius Richard Jr. North Carolina Central Belle Glade, Fla.
RB Alfonzo Graham Sr. Morgan State Baltimore, Md.
RB Latrell Collier R-Jr. North Carolina Central Bluefield, W.Va.
WR Shaquan Davis R-Jr. South Carolina State Summerville, S.C.
WR Antoine Murray Gr. Howard Miramar, Fla.
TE Brennan Brown Sr. Howard Dallas, Tex.
C Torricelli Simpkins III So. North Carolina Central Charlotte, N.C.
OL Corey Bullock Jr. North Carolina Central Accokeek, Md.
OL Robert Mitchell R-Sr. North Carolina Central Millsboro, Del.
OL Anim Dankwah Sr. Howard Accra, Ghana
OL Nick Taiste So. South Carolina State West Columbia, S.C.
First Team Defense
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Isaiah Williams* R-Sr. Delaware State Brooklyn, N.Y.
DL Patrick Godbolt* Jr. South Carolina State Blythewood, S.C.
DL Jevin Jackson Gr. Howard Lawrenceville, Ga.
DL Marcus Brown Jr. Howard Houston, Tex.
DL Elijah Williams So. Morgan State Jersey City, N.J.
LB BJ Davis R-Jr. South Carolina State Blair, S.C.
LB Tyler Long R-Jr. Norfolk State Cincinnati, Ohio
LB Brooks Parker Sr. Delaware State Laurel, Del.
DB Khalil Baker Jr. North Carolina Central Winston-Salem, N.C.
DB Romell Harris-Freeman R-Jr. Delaware State Rockville, Md.
DB Kenny Gallop, Jr. Jr. Howard Portsmouth, Va.
DB Duane Nichols* Gr. South Carolina State Lake View, S.C.
DB Jae’Veyon Morton* Sr. Morgan State Detroit, Mich.
P Matt Noll So. Delaware State Robesonia, Pa.
PK Adrian Olivo Jr. North Carolina Central Plant City, Fla.
RS Keith Jenkins, Jr. Fr. Morgan State Gainesville, Va.
* Indicates a tie.
Second Team Offense
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Quinton Williams Sr. Howard Upper Marlboro, Md.
RB Jarett Hunter Jr. Howard Mineral, Va.
RB Marquis Gillis R-Fr. Delaware State Milford, Del.
WR E.J. Hicks* R-Sr. North Carolina Central Rolesville, N.C.
WR Devin Smith* So. North Carolina Central Durham, N.C.
WR Da’Quan Felton R-So. Norfolk State Portsmouth, Va.
TE Tyler Barnes Sr. North Carolina Central Charlotte, N.C.
C Deshawn Ingram Sr. Howard Detroit, Mich.
OL Darius Fox So. Howard Washington, D.C.
OL Sam Pearson Sr. Delaware State Washington, D.C.
OL Cam Johnson R-So. South Carolina State Irmo, S.C.
OL Chris Anthony Gr. Morgan State Massillon, Ohio
* Indicates a tie.
Second Team Defense
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Darrian Brokenburr Sr. Howard Manassas, Va.
DL Jared Kirksey So. South Carolina State Clemson, S.C.
DL Jaden Taylor R-So. North Carolina Central Durham, N.C.
DL Colby Warrior R-Sr. North Carolina Central Fayetteville, Ga.
LB Marquis Hall R-Sr. Norfolk State Woodbridge, Va.
LB Aaron Smith So. South Carolina State Manning, S.C.
LB Jaki Brevard So. North Carolina Central Durham, N.C.
DB Manny Smith R-Jr. North Carolina Central Laurel Hill, N.C.
DB Zion Keith Gr. South Carolina State Florence, S.C.
DB Robert Jones III So. Howard Fairwood, Md.
DB R.J. Coles R-Jr. Norfolk State Richmond, Va.
P Dyson Roberts So. South Carolina State Sumter, S.C.
PK Nathan Wilson Fr. Delaware State Salem, N.J.
RS Ian Wheeler Sr. Howard Houston, Tex.
* Indicates a tie.
Third Team Offense
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB C.J. Henry R-Fr. Delaware State Newark, Del.
RB J’Mari Taylor So. North Carolina Central Charlotte, N.C.
RB Eden James Fr. Howard Port St. Lucie, Fla.
WR Jerrish Halsey Sr. Delaware State Rahway, N.J.
WR Kasey Hawthorne Jr. Howard Sebring, Fla.
TE Khalil Ellis R-Jr. South Carolina State Rock Hill, S.C.
C Eric Brown, Jr. So. South Carolina State Hartsville, S.C.
OL Isaiah Cook So. Delaware State Willingboro, N.J.
OL Marvin Atuatasi Jr. Morgan State Leone, American Samoa
OL Vincent Byrd, Jr.* Fr. Norfolk State Stafford, Va.
OL Lamar Robinson* Fr. Norfolk State Alexandria, Va.
* Indicates a tie.
Third Team Defense
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Anthony Blume R-So. Norfolk State Edgewood, Md.
DL Amadeu Vital R-Jr. Norfolk State Silver Springs, Md.
DL Octaveon Minter So. South Carolina State Chester, S.C.
DL Christian Smith So. North Carolina Central Jacksonville, N.C.
LB Lawrence Richardson Jr. Morgan State Philadelphia, Pa.
LB Maurio Goings R-So. Delaware State New Market, Md.
LB Christian White Sr. Howard Highland Springs, Va.
DB Jawain Granger R-Sr. Delaware State New Castle, Del.
DB Joseph White R-Jr. Norfolk State Virginia Beach, Va.
DB Jayden Wooden Sr. Morgan State Peoria, Ariz.
DB Carlvainsky Decius So. Morgan State New Carrollton, Md.
P Phillip Richards Gr. Howard Melbourne, Australia
PK Gavyn Zimmerman So. South Carolina State Sumter, S.C.
RS Brandon Codrington Jr. North Carolina Central Raleigh, N.C.
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As the holiday season arrives and new memories with family and friends await, there are lots of ways to volunteer and get involved with the community. You can give back locally throughout the season by signing up as a volunteer or donating to a nonprofit.North Charleston nonprofit Lowcountry Orphan Relief is looking for volunteers to purchase clothing and fill stockings for its annual ...
As the holiday season arrives and new memories with family and friends await, there are lots of ways to volunteer and get involved with the community. You can give back locally throughout the season by signing up as a volunteer or donating to a nonprofit.
North Charleston nonprofit Lowcountry Orphan Relief is looking for volunteers to purchase clothing and fill stockings for its annual Stocking Drive which lasts through December 9. You can also virtually sponsor stockings by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be dropped off at 1850 Truxtun Ave. In addition to clothing, accepted donations include stuffed animals, school supplies, books, toiletries and blankets.
Closet of Hope gives foster families access to donated items to brighten the holidays for children. Volunteers are needed to wrap gifts and assist foster parents during the Annual Toy Shop held December 9-10 at Church at Cane Bay, located at 438 Marketplace Drive in Summerville. You can also sign up to sponsor a child’s Christmas.
The Lowcountry Blessing Box Project helps families battling food insecurity in the Charleston area. The Blessing Box Project has over 150 drop-off locations that offer a convenient way to donate nonperishable food items and hygiene supplies throughout downtown, North Charleston, James/Johns/Wadmalaw Islands, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant and Summerville. Find details on how to get involved and a map of all blessing boxes in the area here.
Help North Charleston’s Trident United Way with holiday meal preparation. Email email@example.com to learn more.
Support organizations that help the homeless and underserved communities by donating food items to Uplift Charleston. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Donation” in the subject line to get involved.You can also volunteer to serve meals at downtown shelter and community kitchen One80 Place, or sort and pack food at the Lowcountry Food Bank’s North Charleston center.
North Charleston nonprofit Water Mission, which advocates for global access to safe water, is also always looking for volunteers and donations.
Ways to donate
You can donate money, gently-used or new items and food supplies to local social services nonprofits, including:
You can also donate money online to various regional and international nonprofits, including
Supporting animal welfare and environmental causes
North Charleston’s Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network protects the area’s whales, dolphins and seals and is always in need of donations and volunteers, along with The South Carolina Aquarium zoological nonprofit downtown.
Other area environmental conservation nonprofits you can support are: Coastal Conservation League, Charleston Surfrider and Lowcountry Land Trust downtown; The Sustainability Institute in North Charleston; and The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw.
The Charleston Animal Society in North Charleston and Pet Helpers Adoption Center on James Island offer onsite and offsite volunteer opportunities. You can also help out by signing up for foster programs.
To get involved in hands-on volunteer opportunities, connect with clean water advocacy nonprofit Charleston Waterkeeper for beach clean ups or oyster sustainability nonprofit Toadfish Conservation Coalition for oyster shell sorting.
Is your local nonprofit hosting a volunteer event or accepting donations? Add your event information to the City Paper Calendar today.
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In any gathering of veterans, there is always an awareness of those no longer here and what is still present and accounted for in those who are.Thirty-four veterans from four branches of service and their loved ones gathered Friday at Summerville Estates for a commemorative luncheon and the traditional “White Table” ceremony. Celebrating their pride in service and the opportunities they found during their military careers, they also acknowledged a survivor’s grief for the fallen, the missing and the families still wa...
In any gathering of veterans, there is always an awareness of those no longer here and what is still present and accounted for in those who are.
Thirty-four veterans from four branches of service and their loved ones gathered Friday at Summerville Estates for a commemorative luncheon and the traditional “White Table” ceremony. Celebrating their pride in service and the opportunities they found during their military careers, they also acknowledged a survivor’s grief for the fallen, the missing and the families still waiting for final answers.
“They say that for every one with a gun on the front line, there were nine others supporting them,” said Scott Driscol. Driscol and his wife Debbie co-manage the independent retirement community and organized the Veteran’s Day event to honor the service people who live there.
Though not an Estates resident, Harl Porter is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and a member of the Scottish American Military Society (SAMS) along with resident, retired Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and aircraft hydraulics mechanic James Calvert. Wearing (as did Calvert) his family clan’s kilt, Porter educated the Friday crowd about the roots of the Veteran’s Day tradition.
It began spontaneously on Armistice Day in 1918. Scrambling bloody and starving out of World War I trenches, enemy soldiers who had just been doing their best to kill each other crossed combat zones to hold each other up instead, sharing whatever rations and medicines they had left.
That concept of working toward a bigger picture lived on in the service personnel who followed. Marlene Lemon, retired Navy Petty Officer First Class, is an example of those who wore the twin hats of military preparedness and parental responsibility. Lemon served in the Navy Reserves for 20 years, concurrently working full time, raising a son and earning her Master’s degree. Leaving her beloved active-duty Naval career to marry, she later became a teacher in Dorchester School Districts Two and Four.
From supplying the nuclear and gas turbine destroyers that were the new class of ships, Lemon moved her career to the classroom. There she found that the command presence needed to organize and direct sailors also applied to students.
“Being in the reserves was harder than active duty. It was an effort to give up time on the weekends to serve… (But) I loved the Navy and I loved my job. I got out because Jamal’s dad wanted to get married and didn’t want to wait,” she recalled.
“(As a teacher) I’d tell young women, if you’ve got a plan and goals, don’t let anyone disrupt it.”
Also in the spirit of working with a changing bigger picture, retired Air Force Sergeant Rodney Miller spent four years on active duty and other 33 years as a civilian Air Force contractor. Within his role in the auditor general’s department, he watched those decades make a significant turn-about in the service’s demographics.
“In in 1951, my 1,700-member unit was (made up of) 1,700 men. By the end of my 37 years, 84 percent were women,” said Miller.
“They put me in charge of quite a few people and I have to say, very few of my problems came from the ladies. They were solid professionally, socially, in attention to detail and in duty and devotion.”
For 90-year-old retired Air Force Master Sergeant John Jeffries, a recipient of the Bronze Star during Vietnam, that big picture was a geographical experience as well as a figurative one — and one he relished. Crediting his “wonderful wife of 71 years” when he speaks of his long service, Jeffries described being stationed in “fabulous places” such as Korea, Vietnam and Japan, Sumter, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., Alaska and New York.
Jeffries isn’t alone in his nostalgia for the dwellings and destinations of a military life.
“Unbeknownst to me, I took my R and R during the (Vietnam) Tet offensive,” said Calvert, who worked on both the F8 Crusader and the F4B Phantom aircrafts.
“I got 30 days’ free leave anywhere in the world, spent it in Paris, France and toured Europe.”
Miller, who described seeing the Middle East, Germany, England, Egypt and Greece, summed it up:
“Being in the Air Force was the best thing that happened in my life.”