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By Erin Smith

Bladen County now has a charter chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). In a charter ceremony held at the Elizabethtown Municipal Building the DAV Robert Curtis Hester Chapter #99 was officially recognized and the charter was read aloud to those in attendance. 

“It’s very near and dear to my heart that this has become a reality,” said Juanita Hester, Mr. Hester’s widow. 

She said her late husband fought for Veterans and made sure they received the recognition and services they needed. 

David Brown, who was officially sworn in as Commander, said he met Robert Hester two and one-half years ago and explained to Mr. Hester he wanted to start a local chapter of the DAV. 

“His words to me were, ‘What are you waiting for? Christmas or New Years?’” said Brown. 

He added Mr. Hester was a great help getting the chapter organized. Brown said when the group approached Hester about the local chapter being named after him, he said Mr. Hester was touched and very proud of the honor. The official name of the chapter is, Disable American Veterans Robert Curtis Hester Chapter #99.

Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell thanked all of the veterans who came out to show their support for the DAV chapter. 

 “I can only imagine how proud he would be,” said Campbell. 

Kristopher Knowlton, the NC DAV Department Commander, administered the Oath of Obligation and Swearing In of the elected and appointed officers of the local chapter. 

Alana King sang the National Anthem during the ceremony. The nation’s colors were presented by the JROTC honor guard.

All Bladen County veterans are invited to attend the regular monthly meetings of the DAV. They meet the third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the VFW building located at 109 Hill Street, Elizabethtown. 



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