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Sunday, July 14, 2024 - 06:56 PM


First Published in 1994


SC-Gov-Nikki-Haley-SpeaksThe Greenville Chapter, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) hosted the third Biennial South Carolina Council of Chapters 2013 Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, October 6-9.

MOAA has eleven chapters in the South Carolina Council of Chapters. Col. Dale Ellenburg is president, CWO2 Michael Gonzales is Second Vice President, Col. David Lobb is VP for Legislative Affairs, Col. Edward J. Burns, III is Secretary and 1st Lt. Pam Durham is Treasurer.

Col. William Koehler is president of the host Greenville Chapter.

The colors were posted by American Legion Post 3 Color Guard, under the direction of Color Guard Commander Chuck Rouse.

It was appropriate that a representative of the Wounded Warrior Project was first speaker at the event.



Sal Gonzalez, Jr., L/CPL. U.S.M.C. (Ret.), a wounded Iraq War Veteran represented the “Wounded Warrior” Project.

Gonzalez  joined the Marines on 21 October 2003 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines as a machine gunner. A year later, he was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq.

He was hit by an individual explosive device (IED) and was in a coma for about a week.

He was then transported to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, for treatment. His left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

David-LobbLater, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg, which has not hindered his daily life too much. He tries to exercise every day to keep his weight down.

He enjoys writing songs, playing the guitar and singing songs he has written.

He is a member of the “Wounded Warrior” Project as a spokesman, because he received a special package from the “Wounded Warrior” Project while a patient at Bethesda Naval Center.

White socks, a sweat shirt, sweat pants, hand soap, razor, shaving cream, shampoo, toothbrush and paste, and a CD player are packed in a backpack and delivered to a patient in a stateside hospital, to help with their healing rehabilitation.

A soldier, who is wounded, has only the clothes he was wearing at the time, and sometimes these clothes have to be removed before he is airlifted to a hospital in Germany.

From Germany, the soldier or airman is transported to Walter Reed Hospital or Bethesda Naval Medical Center for Marines or Navy personnel for further treatment and rehabilitation.

The “Wounded Warrior” Project provides comfort items that the US Government does not provide to the patient. The “Wounded Warrior” Project depends on voluntary contributions, fund raisers and other means to raise funds for these comfort items.

Some of the wounded military personnel have been asked to represent the organization by traveling to certain cities to talk

at patriotic events, attend fundraisers and visit veteran Service Organizations to raise awareness to the “Wounded Warrior” Project.


This is why L/CPL Gonzalez was in Greenville to address the MOAA Convention and talk about the “Wounded Warrior” Project.

He stated, “You can never forget that life has inspiration all around us. Just look at all the “Wounded Warriors” who are such good role models. These are the men and women I admire the most.”

Governor Nikki R. Haley was the guest speaker. She said that her husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan and they communicate with each other whenever possible. He should return in December.

She is disappointed about the government shutdown and blames both parties.

She answered a few questions from the audience that were submitted before she arrived.

David Lobb, Col. US Army (Ret.), Vice President for Legislative Affairs, gave a report on the State Legislature.

There were thirty-two bills submitted, two bills were passed, and thirty bills were not passed.