CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- On July 17, 1953 -- just before the cease-fire that would "end" the war in Korea -- Private Virgil Boyd Adkins, 21, of Hinton, stepped forward and saved the lives of his fellow soldiers in the 3rd Infantry Division.
His heroism earned him a Silver Star but cost him his life. His family marked his grave in Summers County with a homemade marker.
This month, the Department of Veterans Affairs finally gave Adkins the memorial and the military marker he deserved.
Fred Long, editor of the Hinton News, organized the ceremony. Long had discovered Adkins' grave and worked to secure a proper marker.
The citation for Adkins read, "Disregarding the heavy enemy fire, he repeatedly moved about the terrain under fire to aid wounded raiders . . . and directed heavy fire upon the foe until he was mortally wounded by intense enemy automatic weapons fire."
Had he lived, Adkins would have celebrated his 80th birthday this year. Thanks to his heroism, many of his fellow soldiers celebrated theirs.
South Korea survived and thrived and became a democracy worthy of the sacrifice of Virgil Boyd Adkins and more than 33,000 other American soldiers - and all those Americans who have been stationed there for 59 years just in case North Korea re-started the war.
DELEGATE Rick Snuffer, R-Raleigh, will address the Republican National Convention in prime time on Monday as the party raises the profile of the man who is taking on 18-term Democratic congressman Nick Joe Rahall.
Snuffer will discuss coal and the Obama administration's war on coal, an issue in the presidential race.
"And no area in the country is more dependent on coal than West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District," Snuffer told the Register-Herald in Beckley.
Snuffer grew up in McDowell County. "I remember walking along the railroad track with Mom, picking up coal," he said.
Snuffer's appearance will help Mitt Romney. President Obama took the coal mining states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia four years ago.
By making the war on coal an issue, Republicans better their chances of taking those three states and their 51 votes in the Electoral College.
They also better the chances of ending a reckless war that threatens the economy.
PRESIDENT Obama's "You Didn't Build That" admonition to successful people sparked a backlash among small business owners.
Chris McMurray, owner of the Crumb And Get It bakery in Radford, Va., refused to let Vice President Joe Biden make a campaign stop at his shop.