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Catonsville American Legion Post to honor Vietnam War veterans Saturday

By Keith Meisel, kmeisel@tribune.com

5:15 PM EDT, May 22, 2012

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Veterans of one of the most controversial wars in American history will be honored for their service this Memorial Day Weekend, thanks to the efforts of a determined group of members from the Jackson and Johnson American Legion Post 263 in Catonsville.

"It's something the post has never done, that needed to be done," said five-year post member Herbert Brown, an Army veteran, on Saturday's special ceremony to recognize four Catonsville men who served in the Vietnam War.

The May 26 ceremony for Earl Faison, who will be recognized posthumously, Earl Smith, Army veteran Winston Ebb and Navy veteran Samuel Singletary III will begin at 11 a.m. at the Bloomsbury Community Center, 106 Bloomsbury Ave.

The lack of earlier recognition for veterans who served in the war, which ended April 30, 1975, after more than 20 years of conflict, hit home for Brown.

He said his two nephews, Catonsville residents Richard Houston and Steven Joyce III, both served in the war in southeast Asia.

"We've gotten quite a lot of positive response in the community from families, who also say, 'What took you so long?'," said the Westview Park resident.

Brown led a special committee at the post that organized Saturday's event. Committee members also included Thomas France, Reginald Frazier, Kenneth King, Richard Robinson, Leroy Stanton, William Tate, Roderick Taylor and Joseph Turner.

Frazier, King, Robinson, Taylor and Turner are all Vietnam veterans.

He added that Carlotta Davis, a volunteer from the ladies' auxiliary at the post on Winters Lane, also supplied administrative support for the post members.

"It's been quite an experience for me," Brown said.

In addition to a performance by the Pauline Wells Lewis Legacy Choir, Saturday's 90-minute ceremony is also scheduled to include speeches by Del. Emmett Burns, whose 10th District includes Catonsville, Post 263 Commander Ronald Alston and Councilman Tom Quirk, among others.

Quirk, whose 1st District includes Catonsville, will also present resolutions from the County Council honoring the four men.