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American Legion plans Memorial Day ceremony

Published 6:40pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012

American Legion Post 229 of Madison will conduct a Memorial Day ceremony in Veterans Park on Front Street.

The May 28 event in downtown Madison will start at 11 a.m. Rev. Larry Wright with Madison United Methodist Church will give the invocation. Retired Lt. Gen. George Stotser, U.S. Army will be featured speaker.

“We’ll also be offering poppies at various locations around town during the weekend,” American legionnaire Victor ‘Vic’ van Leeuwen said. “Poppies commemorate the fallen soldiers, airmen, seamen and Marines who have given their lives so that we may live in freedom.”

A native of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., Stotser received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and was commissioned as second lieutenant with U.S. Army ROTC.

His military education includes U.S. Army Infantry School, Command and Staff Course, U.S. Naval War College and the U.S. Army War College.

From 1957 to 1959, he served in West Germany with the 24th Infantry Division and later instructed at the U.S. Infantry School in Fort Benning, Ga.

Stotser graduated from the School of Naval Command and Staff at the Naval War College in 1966 and served in Vietnam as operations officer, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

Stotser’s other assignments include Fort Bliss, Texas; 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division in West Germany; and Fort Stewart, Ga. In Washington, D.C., he served as U.S. Army Combat Army Training Board president, completed staff assignments for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans. In 1979, he was Operations Deputy Director for the National Military Command Center, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Before retiring in 1991, Stotser commanded Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

Among many decorations and badges, Stotser earned the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal.

Stotser and his wife, the former Dorothy A. Lewis, have two children, Ronald and Garrick. The Stotsers live in Madison.

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