The Greenville County Republican Women’s Club conducted its annual Americanism meeting June 24 with a luncheon at the Poinsett Club. The theme was “Let Freedom Ring.”
The guest of honor and main speaker was Willie Thompson, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Marines.
The musical program was presented by Greenville in Harmony, a women’s chorus affiliated with Sweet Adelines International. Club members brought items for residents of the Richard Campbell Veterans Nursing Home in Anderson. Nancee Lee Yearick organized the program.
Thompson, who pastors Paramount Park Baptist Church, said that he became involved in the Republican Party in 1976 when he served on the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission when Jim Edwards was governor and was reappointed in 2003 under Gov. Mark Sanford.
Thompson said that when you put on the Marine uniform “you are a weapon and you do not make any apologies for doing what you have been trained to do,” adding that “we give our lives to protect our freedom.”
Thompson said that when he joined the Marine Corps in 1969 after he graduated from high school it was his desire to be willing to give his life for his country because he did not see many opportunities for a young black man at that time.
Thompson became a Christian a few months before he left the Marines through a group called the Navigators. His troops noticed that after he became a Christian he began to treat them better and did not use profanity.
Thompson mentioned the loss of freedoms Christians have experienced in our country. He remembered reciting Psalms in public grade schools and high schools.
“The Lord gives us liberty. He gives us life,” Thompson said, and with those liberties comes responsibilities that we cannot neglect without punishment coming upon us. Thompson referred to the Roman practice of abandoning female babies to die, and how the Roman empire no longer exists, and wondered how long America would last as it practices abortion.
Thompson concluded by saying, “We are here in America by the grace of God to do what God intends for us to do. With that freedom has come a great responsibility, and I thank the Lord that I have been born in America.”