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News From The Past

May 23, 2005



Memorial marker to be placed at Pittman's grave

By: Bob Darden, Staff Writer

Supporters of the late John A. Pittman, a Medal of Honor winner, are making sure he is going to receive some additional recognition for his service to his country.

On Tuesday, a memorial marker and foot marker will be placed at Pittman's gravesite in New Hope Cemetery in Carroll County.

The effort to honor Pittman is headed by Marsh Pickett, Leflore County Veterans Service officer, and members of the Greenwood Chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"Basil King's wife, Ada, was working over at Cottonlandia, and this lady came in. And she said she had been out to the cemetery, visiting John's gravesite, and there was not a marker honoring him. Ada went home and told Basil about it," Pickett said.

Pickett contacted Wayne Pittman of Greenwood, a cousin of Pittman's, and asked him to call Pittman's widow, who now lives in Texas.

"She told him that there was a foot marker that was supposed to be placed there," Pickett said.

He discovered that while a foot marker had been ordered, it had never been delivered to New Hope.

Pickett, who prides himself on representing veterans, said he was somewhat ashamed that since Pittman's death in 1995, he had no idea about the lack of a foot marker, which is provided free of charge by the government for all veterans.

The new road off Medallion Drive in Greenwood was named Sgt. John A. Pittman Drive in honor of Pittman earlier this year.

While Pittman's gravesite has a family marker, Pickett and King thought an additional marker, noting Pittman's status as a Medal of Honor recipient, was also needed.

Pickett said Gene Sanders, of Davidson Marble and Granite Works Inc. of Winona, who had placed the Pittman family marker, agreed that there was room enough on the plot for a memorial marker honoring Pittman's sacrifice.

The memorial marker, an obelisk, which stands 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall, is simple, Pickett said.

It was paid for entirely by Pickett, Tommy Lindsey, Ben Chapman, and Frank Gwin. Davidson Marble will donate the engraving and installation costs.

"The marker is going to read, 'John A. Pittman, Medal of Honor, Korea' with the dates of his service," he said.

"It's intended to honor him as the only Medal of Honor winner we've ever had from Carroll and Leflore counties," Pickett said.

Pittman, a longtime employee at the Western Auto in Greenwood, was a modest man who did not want any recognition for his service in the war, he said.

"He wanted none at all. That was the kind of man he was," Pickett said.

2005, by Greenwood Commonwealth


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