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Rotary Club of Stone Mountain Salutes Veterans at Park Springs

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Keynote by Ranger Hall of Fame Inductee
Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham (Ret.)

Stone Mountain (Georgia), May 7, 2013 – In honor of Memorial Day, the Rotary Club of Stone Mountain will honor all Veterans who live at the Park Springs Retirement Community in Stone Mountain on Tuesday, May 21 at 11:45 AM at their 7th annual “Salute to Veterans” lunch.

This year, Ranger Hall of Fame Inductee, Retired Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham of Green Beret fame will be the guest speaker. He accepted the invitation from Al Lipphardt, past two-term Stone Mountain Rotary Club President and Past District Governor, who knew and fought alongside General Stringham forty years ago.

“When we finally met again in person last year, it was as if we had seen each other last week. I am honored to welcome him at our Veterans Lunch at Park Springs where we will share a conversation about recent history, special ops and current events and can commemorate the brave acts of all US soldiers,” said Lipphardt.

“Our Members are very appreciative of the Rotary Club of Stone Mountain for this recognition,” according to Anresa Davis, Stone Mountain Rotarian and Senior Residency Counselor at Park Springs. “Memorial Day is always a day of reflection and remembrance; a time to reflect on the ultimate sacrifices of those who served their country, and honor and remember the veterans who fought in wars both distant and recent. Hearing General Stringham speak will make this Memorial Day remembrance even more poignant.”

About Brigadier General Joseph S. Stringham (Ret.)
A Ranger from the beginning of his military career in 1961, Stringham’s first assignment was as executive officer of the 7th Infantry Division Long Range Patrol Detachment in the Republic of Korea. He served in the Republic of Vietnam in 1963-65 with Special Forces and 1967-68 with the 31st Infantry as a company commander and Battalion S-3.

In January 1965, Stringham assumed command of Special Forces A Detachment Camp at Ben Cat, which was then under heavy pressure from a large Viet Cong unit. He soon gained a reputation as a combat leader who could and would gain and maintain contact with the enemy. During the 1965 offensive, Stringham was directed to gather what remained of his camp’s indigenous forces after the operation was neutralized by a major communist attack and form a Chinese mercenary battalion, the first of its kind and later the subject of the John Wayne movie, “The Green Berets.”

During the 1968 Tet Offensive, Stringham’s company threw back three major assaults from a North Vietnamese regiment. During this battle, Stringham personally manned one of his company’s machine guns as his company successfully held off the assault.

From 1975-79, Stringham commanded three infantry battalions, culminating in his assumption of command as the fourth commander of the 1st Ranger Battalion. While commanding the 1st Ranger Battalion he gained the nickname “Smokin’ Joe” because of his tenacity, integrity, lead-from-the-front leadership style, and demanding the highest standards of performance.

In the 1980s, Stringham served as commander of the U.S. Military Group in EI Salvador during the critical phase of the insurgency. For his service in EI Salvador, Stringham received EI Salvador’s highest military decoration for bravery and meritorious service.

Gen. Stringham retired from active duty in November 1992. He was inducted into the United States Army Ranger Hall of Fame in 1995 and into the Special Forces Hall of Fame in 2010. He has received numerous decorations, which include two Distinguished Service Medals, four Legion of Merit, and seven combat decorations for valor, including the Silver Star. He also received several foreign decorations for meritorious and combat service.

Source: Cleveland Daily Banner – Stringham to speak for God and Country Day

About Al Lipphardt, Stone Mountain Rotary Club
PDG Al Lipphardt recently received the Rotary International Service Above Self Award. This is the highest award a Rotarian can receive, and no one could be more worthy than this Army Veteran and Rotarian leader. Lipphardt has been a Rotarian since 1984 and has served twice as President of the Stone Mountain Rotary Club, and is also a Past District Governor for District 6900.

Al Lipphardt first met General Joe Stringham in November 1967 on the battlefield (Hill 63) and in 1968 during the Tet Offensive, and again forty years later at a VFW Post Golf Tournament. Though Lipphardt is reluctant to bring up difficult memories of Vietnam, they have stayed in contact since.

Al Lipphardt is very involved with Veterans through the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization, especially WWII and Korean War veterans who are now of an advanced age. He is involved with the national ‘Witness to War’ program helping to record memories of soldiers who fought in various wars and raising awareness of veterans’ needs. He left the military in 1979, and he and his wife Carol raised their two daughters in the Stone Mountain area. They have seven grandchildren, six boys and one girl.

In 2017, the International Rotary Convention will be held in Atlanta.

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ABOUT PARK SPRINGS:
Park Springs (completed in 2007), owned and operated by Isakson Living and professionally managed by Life Care Services, LLC, is a 54-acre campus-style Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) surrounded by Stone Mountain Park. Park Springs is a vibrant community of active adults 62 and above who live in spacious private homes and enjoy a club-inspired lifestyle. Park Springs includes 398 Independent Homes; a Health Center (Cobblestone) with 42 Skilled Nursing rooms (Pebblebrook), 14 Dementia suites (Julia’s Suite) and 20 AL suites (The Bridges); Clubhouse with variety of dining options and common areas; and Fitness Center with lap pool, therapy pool and exercise room.

Members live in a detached single-family home, cottage home or condominium-style villa. The community provides dining options in diverse settings and many social, educational and enrichment opportunities. Residential options offering a higher level of service and care are also available on campus. These include home health, assisted living suites, memory care or Medicare-certified skilled nursing and rehabilitation.  As situations change, Members can move into the type of home or environment that best meets their needs.
www.parksprings.com | www.isaksonliving.com

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