AMVETS founder remembered

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2007

DECATUR TOWNSHIP — Each year for the past three years, the AmVets 5293 in Ironton has taken its Veterans Day tribute to the grave of a fallen soldier and paid its respects next to a stark reminder of the real price of freedom.

This year was no different.

Monday, AmVets raised the flag at Macedonia Cemetery and saluted it in memory of

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all veterans and particularly in memory of the late David Malone, who died earlier this year. Malone was one of the founders of the AmVets and served as its commander until his death.

“His body lies under this earth but his spirit is with God,” AmVets Veterans Service Officer Dave Barker said in his address to the assembly. “We are honoring his sacrifice because David Malone was a casualty of Vietnam.”

Barker said the cancer that killed Malone was brought on by one of the more odious aspects of the Vietnam War: Agent Orange. He said he plans to press Washington, D.C., officials to add Malone’s name to the Vietnam Memorial.

Buckeye Monument donated the stone and the AmVets bought the plaque, bench and flag. Beside the tombstone was a spray of red, white and blue flowers, a fitting tribute to a man so patriotic, his mother, Jewell Malone said.

“He certainly believed in that flag,” she said softly. “I’ll tell you, some people had said to him before they wished they’d never had gone (to war) but David said ‘I don’t. I’d do it again.’ He was a special guy a wonderful person, a wonderful son.”

Malone’s widow, Betty and son, David II, were among the family members and friends who attended the flag-raising ceremony. David II, also a veteran, helped Post Commander Carroll Stamper hoist the new fag into place.

Rosemary York and her husband, Walter, worked with the Malones and others to organize the AmVets 5293. Walter was unable to attend Monday’s flag-raising ceremony but Rosemary did and as she walked away she wiped a tear from her eye.

“David would have been so proud,” she said. “This is a fitting tribute. He was a wonderful man.”