Two north Fulton Vietnam veterans will be inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame Nov. 2.
Just in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11, former U.S. Army medical specialist and current Roswell resident Roger W. Wise, Jr., will be inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made by GMVHOF founder and director, Col. Paul Longgrear (USA-Ret), of Pine Mountain.
“Roger Wise is among the 15 Hall of Famers inducted into the Class of 2019,” Longgrear said.
“Their photos, together with those of the previous 100 inductees, will hang on the Heroes Wall of the Floyd Building in the State Capitol complex in Atlanta.”
Wise said when he received the call from Hall of Fame Co-Director and Chairman of the Board Col. Rick White, Wise thought White was joking with him.
“He said, ‘Roger, I’m serious,’” Wise recalled. “And I just started crying.”
According to White, nominees must have ties to Georgia and qualify in one of three categories — valor for heroic action in combat, outstanding achievement while in service, or significant local, state or national contributions after leaving active duty.
Since his honorable discharge in January 1967, Wise has dedicated his subsequent years to volunteering for and supporting a myriad of civilian, military and charitable enterprises. Wise worked as a Army medic at the hospital in San Antonio, Texas, where he said he felt like he was doing something special by working with kids.
Veterans affairs, Children’s Healthcare, Seniors Aftercare, Vietnam Veteran’s Wall in Johns Creek and Fulton Chamber of Commerce are but a few of the organizations benefiting from Wise’s generosity.
“I’m humbled to be part of it,” Wise said. “You look at some of these resumes and individuals and thank God we have people like that.”
He has been commended by Gov. Nathan Deal, Sen. Johnny Isakson and former House Representative Price for streamlining the Veteran’s Hospital system in Georgia. Among his other recognitions were Outstanding Georgia Citizen in 2014, Senate designated Roger Wise, Jr. Day on March 13, 2014, and Rotary District 6900 Club Builder Award in 2015.
Roger Wise continues his generous community involvement in the establishment of Leadership Johns Creek and assisting the North Fulton Emerging Leadership program with tours of the Capitol, meetings with elected officials and Student Leadership Johns Creek for the past 11 years.
Wise also works with and mentors students in north Fulton JROTC programs. He said that many of his students still reach out to him after their high school graduation. One female student who went on to West Point sent Wise a photo of her at the gun range at West Point.
Wise keeps the photo in one of his many three ring binders full of photos, patches and other memories. In addition to his binders, Wise decorates his office floor to ceiling with newspaper clippings, group photos, medal, patches, trophies, volunteer badges, Free Mason badges, Shriner hats and military memorabilia.
In a far corner of the room, Wise hung his dog tags next to his military portrait from 1961.
Wearing many hats himself, Wise said his involvement and volunteer work with so many groups keeps the 78-year-old feeling young.
Simply put, Wise said he enjoys keeping busy.
Another north Fulton Vietnam vet from Johns Creek, former Staff Sergeant Richard F. Dundon, will also be inducted into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame.
While serving with the First Cavalry Division in the province of Song Be in 1969, Dundon’s platoon was ambushed.
Disregarding his own safety, he crawled through enemy lines to direct accurate fire support, resulting in the retreat of hostile forces and the capture of a wounded enemy soldier who would later provide vital intelligence of enemy positions and munitions caches. For this feat of heroism, he was awarded the Silver Star.
Wise and Dundon will be inducted Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Saint Luke Ministry Center in Columbus, Georgia.
Prices to attend the ceremony start at $55 for individual guests.
For reservation details, visitors are invited to access the Hall of Fame website at www.GMVHOF.org.