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A soldier's sacrifice: Sgt. James Kinlow honored by local, state, federal officials in ceremony

The board of education meeting room held a larger crowd than usual at the monthly meeting last Thursday as federal, state and local officials came to make a special presentation to the family of the late Sgt. James Kinlow of Thomson.

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Congressman Charlie Norwood presents a folded flag to Daphanie Kinlow as Chauncey and Chelsea Kinlow look on and State Sen. Jim Whitehead claps.

"We've got a lot of folks here tonight. Daphanie, the reason all these people are here tonight is because James has made us proud," said Commission Chairman Charlie Newton to Sgt. Kinlow's widow.

Mayor Bob Knox of Thomson, members of the Thomson City and McDuffie County Commission, former Dearing Mayor Ralph Menees and Dearing city council members, McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall, Jim Hussey - who is a representative of Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Congressman Charlie Norwood, State Sen. Jim Whitehead and State Sen. Greg Goggins were all present to offer sentiments to Sgt. Kinlow's wife Daphanie and children Chauncey and Chelsea.

Congressman Norwood first presented Mrs. Kinlow with a flag that was flown over the nation's capitol in honor of Sgt. Kinlow.

"Mrs. Kinlow, please accept our deepest condolences at this time in your grief. I know no words can comfort you ... but I can assure you James Kinlow has been in our thoughts and our prayers. War is an ugly event. Keeping the enemy at bay is necessary in defending freedom and protecting America. Sgt. Kinlow chose to serve our nation to do just that. As a soldier, his job required great risk, unwavering courage, moral tenacity, uncompromising integrity and true patriotism. ... He forfeited his life so that you and I and many others could continue to be free. ... (He) embodied that spirit of selfless duty without regard to his own wellbeing," Congressman Norwood said.

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Sen. Whitehead closes his eyes as Sen. Greg Goggins reads a state proclamation dedicated to Sgt. James Kinlow.

The Congressman cried unashamedly as he added "and I want you to know, that having the awesome responsibility of voting to send our sons to war, your husband will be in my soul and my heart forever. May God bless you and your family."

Sen. Whitehead presented the Kinlow family a plaque printed with a proclamation passed during a special session of the Georgia Legislature. Sen. Whitehead also shed tears as he told of when he first heard about Sgt. Kinlow's death. He said he thought of a Bible verse, John 15:13 which says "Greater love hath no man than this than a man lay down his life for his friends." The Senator then said he asked Sen. Goggins to accompany him and read the proclamation "because I'm a very emotional person. ... I don't handle this very well. But there is no way I would miss being here tonight."

The proclamation "honors the life and service of Sgt. James Kinlow ... this courageous soldier confronted the dangers and discomforts of striving to keep the peace in Iraq with fortitude and steadfast resolve, making us a nation truly proud ... was killed in action on July 24, 2005 ... his grieving family and friends can be proud of their loved one ... all Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women in our armed forces who risk their lives in defending freedom and securing the blessings of freedom for their nation and other people's of the world...be it resolved by the senate that the members of this body honor Sgt. Kinlow for making the ultimate sacrifice...for our nation."

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State Sen. Jim Whitehead presents a copy of the state proclamation to the Kinlow family.

A reception catered by the McDuffie County School Nutrition Department was held following the presentation.

"Of course we just felt extremely honored that they would think of him in that way," Mrs. Kinlow said in a phone interview after the ceremony.


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The Kinlows listen to remarks from Sen. Whitehead during the ceremony last week.




Web posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006











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