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6 local graduates awarded Vietnam veteran scholarships
From left, front row: Evan Skrip, Samantha Mehler, Allison Norris, Liam Cassidy, and Cassidee Jackson. Not pictured is Dakota Jacks. Back Row: Scholarship Committee members Tom Senior, Hank Hankerson and Ed Shoemaker. Not pictured Jim Cole, Steve Masak and Marty Farrell.

Cumming Chapter 1030 of the Vietnam Veterans of America hosted its seventh annual scholarship awards program and awarded $2,500 scholarships to six Forsyth County high school graduates.

Each recipient was presented a folder containing a certificate naming the scholarship in memory of a Georgian killed in action in the Vietnam War. The folder also included a photo of the individual who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The 2022 winners are:

• Samantha Mehler, North Forsyth High School, whose scholarship was awarded in the name of USAF Capt., James Hoag of East Point. Mehler will study to be a physician assistant at the State University of New York at Morrisville.

• Allison Norris, Forsyth Central High School, whose scholarship honors the memory of US Army Specialist 4th Class Russell Jones of Woodstock. Norris will be attending Wake Forest University to study Pre-Law.

• Evan Skrip, North Forsyth High School, awarded a scholarship to honor the service and sacrifice of US Army 2nd Lt. William Cawthorne of Marietta. Skrip is heading to Kennesaw State University to study Music Education.

• Cassidee Jackson, North Forsyth High School, was awarded a scholarship in memory of US Army 1st Lt. Merrill Dale Reich of Atlanta. Jackson will attend the University of Pennsylvania for International Studies and Business.

• Dakota Jacks, Forsyth Central High School, whose scholarship honors the memory and sacrifice of US Army PFC Jimmie Lee Plumley of Ellijay. Dakota heads to the University of North Florida where he will study Coastal and Marine Biology.

• Liam Cassidy, Lambert HS, who was given a scholarship in memory of the service and sacrifice of US Marine Corps CPL Troy David Payne of Smyrna. Cassidy will attend Clemson University to study Computer Science.

The scholarship committee was able to locate the families of Corporal Payne and PFC Plumley who attended the June 7 ceremony.

Chapter 1030 President Gary Goyette said he could not be more pleased with the scholastic achievements of the students selected this year. “It is our hope that through this program we can, in our small way, keep alive in the minds of these young adults the memory of the fallen who sacrificed so much, he said.”