‘Hometown hero:’ Myrtle Beach community to honor highly-decorated veteran
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Members of the Grand Strand community are set to gather Saturday in honor of a highly-decorated veteran who died last September.
U.S. Army Sgt. Harold Blye, Sr., considered a hometown hero for many in the community, served in Vietnam and received several medals and awards including:
- 2 Silver Star Medals
- 2 Bronze Star Medals
- 5 Air Medals
- Purple Heart
- Army Commendation for Heroism in Action
Blye was also known for his work in the community as a leader and historian. According to the Historic Myrtle Beach Colored School Museum & Education Center, he was also a member, trustee and audio technician at St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church.
The Horry County Coalition of Veterans Community Development Corporation said they previously planned on holding an event before Blye’s passing as a way to thank him for his service.
The group is now following up on that promise during a celebratory event on Saturday. Members say city and county leaders are expected to attend to give proclamations of remembrance for Blye.
“We’re going to have songs, memorials, speeches from different people,” said Bishop Willie Pennington, member of the Horry County Coalition of Veterans Community Development Corporation. “He’s an American hero, he’s a hometown hero. Believe it or not, he’s the inspiration behind many of us joining the military right here from our hometown.”
Pennington went on to describe Blye’s impact on the Grand Strand community, and just how he set an example for those who came after him.
“Every war this nation has ever fought, there were men like Sgt. Harold Blye that fought and defended the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “Even at times when the Constitution did not defend them. He was always a hard worker. Every time you saw him you’d get inspiration. At least I did. Maybe I’m just blushing because he was my hero.”
Blye’s son, Harold Blye, Jr., said he’s beyond grateful to see fellow veterans and others around the area uniting to honor his father, a man he loves and misses so much.
“I have mixed feelings. I feel good definitely that the community is doing something,” he said. “For me, I’m just kind of sad because he’s not here. But I’m super excited to see how the community is going to remember him. He worked hard every day. That’s why when he passed on Labor Day I thought it was fitting because he passed on a day of rest.”
Blye Jr. currently serves in the U.S. Marine Corps and explained how he takes his father’s example with him while continuing to serve.
“The one thing my dad said that always stuck with me, no matter what you’re doing, where you’re at, you stop, you look, you listen, you execute, and then above all, you never panic. He was a big inspiration in my life,” Blye Jr. said.
The celebration honoring Blye Sr. will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Charlie’s Place, located at 1420 Carver Street in Myrtle Beach.
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