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Room of Honor at Ryan's showcases greater Greer's contributions to military

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Preston Johnson, Commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39, points to former prisoners of war who participated at the Veterans Memorial Park ceremony.
 

Jim Fair

Preston Johnson, Commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39, points to former prisoners of war who participated at the Veterans Memorial Park ceremony.

 



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Standing second from the left, with his crew, is Capt. C.E. (Buddy) McGowan, a Greer native. McGowan, along with his crew, was credited with rescuing 49 crew members of a Dutch freighter that had capsized near the Canary Islands.
 

Jim Fair

Standing second from the left, with his crew, is Capt. C.E. (Buddy) McGowan, a Greer native. McGowan, along with his crew, was credited with rescuing 49 crew members of a Dutch freighter that had capsized near the Canary Islands.

 



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The Room of Honor at Ryan's is a tribute to the greater Greer military personnel and veterans.
 

Jim Fair

The Room of Honor at Ryan's is a tribute to the greater Greer military personnel and veterans.

 



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The Greer National Guard donated military gear.
 

Jim Fair

The Greer National Guard donated military gear.

 



Step into the Room of Honor at Ryan’s Restaurant at 1501 W. Poinsett Street and sense the reverence, respect, pride and camaraderie.

Pictures of favorite sons of greater Greer communities tell the stories of military contributions and sacrifices in wars dating from World War I. Pictures of sons who followed their fathers in conflict on behalf of a grateful nation are aligned to reflect their relationships.

Preston Johnson, Commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39, and Dave Taylor, general manager at Ryan’s and former Sgt. in the Marines, proudly participated in the ceremonies designating the room as a memorial and welcoming guests to share dinner with friends and families.

“People have brought pictures representing all branches of the military,” Johnson said. “We have sons of fathers who have served. Here is a series of photos of Veterans Memorial Park in Greer. Every person in these (four) photos at Memorial Park are former prisoners of war,” Johnson said.

“These emblems representing all the military branches were donated by Russ Mason from Allegra Print and Imaging. Mason served in the military,” Johnson said.

“This room is very humbling and serene,” Taylor said. “I watch the people take the time to look at the pictures, emblems and bunting. The people come in and say ‘I want to eat in the Room of Honor. Cliff Harpst, 89, (a World War II veteran) will walk here some days and say, ‘I want to eat in my room.

“This project just proves there are people who respect and honor the military,” Taylor said.

Taylor spoke with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, who presented the colors to begin the ceremonies and ribbon cutting on Tuesday. “I tell them that if they are undecided what to do when they are done with school, to consider the military. You can learn a craft from more than 3,000 in the field and have something to fall back on.”

The Room of Honor is the first in the greater Greer District of Ryan’s franchisees and of just a handful of 350 Ovations Brands, parent company of Ryan’s, restaurants.

Johnson said he has another box of photos to be framed.

“Here’s Jack Lail, a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima. Landrum Johnson is a WWII Army veteran, Alanzo "Lon" Beachman was in WW I,” Johnson said, as he names the vets. “There’s Todd Grant and his son, … and Tom Beacham …”

The Room of Honor is available to the public and may be reserved for individual events. Call Ryan’s at 864-877-1869.

• Ryan’s and Ovations Brands restaurants feature a salute to military and their families on Monday with $8.99 dinner, $5.99 lunch and kids eat for $1.99 – drinks not included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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