Throughout November, the City of San Marcos is honoring our Veterans with a “Month of Service” to show our pride and respect for the Veterans who have assured freedom for our nation for 244 years.
Honorary Grand Marshals for this year’s celebration are World War II Purple Heart Recipient and Vietnam Veteran Lt. Colonel George C. Carruthers (ret); and United States Marine Corps Sergeant Donald Dorsey, a Vietnam Veteran.
- U.S. AIR FORCE RETIRED LT. COLONEL GEORGE C. CARRUTHERS
Nominated by Larry Patterson with information provided by Dr. Marilyn Gaddis
Larry Patterson, in his nomination form stated “This man is a real war hero.” When America entered WW II, George Carruthers volunteered for the Aviation Cadet Program. He was called to active duty in June 1942, completed pilot training, and was assigned to Bombardier/Artillery Gunnery School. After graduation, he joined a crew ferrying a new B-17 to England to become part of the 8th Air Force, 305th Bomb Group flying combat missions over Europe.
On July 17 (Bastille Day), Carruthers joined the crew of the “Windy City Challenger” as the bombardier. His plane was shot down near Paris by a German fighter, killing seven of the eleven crew. Carruthers was blown out of the aircraft and finally reached the ground, despite a severely damaged parachute. He was immediately captured by German troops, taken to a hospital and interrogated. Later he was transferred to Stalag Luft III where he spent nearly two years as a Prisoner of War (POW).
When the war ended, Carruthers returned to the United States and continued a distinguished thirty-year career in the Air Force. During 1966-67, he flew 100 combat mission in Vietnam. On November 1, 1972, Carruthers retired from active duty and moved to San Marcos. He is a proud Life Member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
- U.S. MARINE VIETNAM COMBAT VETERAN SERGEANT DONALD DORSEY
Nomination as submitted by John Miterko and Nicky Lamkin
San Marcos resident Donald Dorsey is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War who served for one year (1969) as a United States Marine Corps Scout/Sniper. After 19 months of service, he was honorably discharged as a sergeant and returned to the United States. Like more than 200,000 living Vietnam veterans, he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, although it would be another 26 years before he was formally diagnosed. He didn’t want to talk about the war and withdrew into the anti-war movement.
In 1985, he turned his anti-war involvement into an active way of helping veterans, creating Texas Association of Vietnam Veterans (TAVV), a non-profit organization that aims to help all veterans and military members. This gave Don a sense of purpose. In 2013, Dorsey led the creation of the Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit, for which he made thousands of dog tags by hand to honor the 3,417 Texans who never came home. A year later, he dedicated the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument, a statue of American soldiers he helped craft. For an anti-war guy, he sure got caught up in a lot of Vietnam stuff.
Today, Dorsey is a veterans’ activist. He serves as Austin Chapter and State President of the TAVV and is a life member of VFW Post 856 of Austin, Vietnam Veterans of America #915, Disabled American Veterans, First Marine Division Association, and Scout/Sniper Association. He serves on many local and state veterans committees, including the Veterans Outreach Committee of the Texas Capitol Vietnam War Monument.
Dorsey has dedicated his adult life – his energy, his skills, and his singular focus – to assisting all generations of Texas Veterans.
Veterans Month of Service Week 2: Sponsor a Wreath
The City of San Marcos and the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee continue the Veterans Month of Service celebration with a new event for week two, “Sponsor a Wreath.” Wreaths Across America Day celebrates and honors all brave veterans who served to protect our country with a remembrance wreath.
Public participation is encouraged to help bring the community together in patriotic commemoration. The San Marcos City Cemetery set a goal to raise sponsoring funds for 542 remembrance wreaths to display on all local veteran gravesites. Wreath sponsorship starts at a $15 price. “Sponsor a Wreath” week is from Nov. 8 to Nov. 14. Wreath display on gravesites will take place on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2020.
Volunteers are needed to assist with distributing the remembrance wreaths on gravesite locations. Those interested in volunteering or sponsoring a wreath for the San Marcos City Cemetery visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/tx0916 to learn more.
For more information, visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/parade. For media inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.