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'Three brave comrades': World War II veterans honored in Eutawville

Times & Democrat - 9/26/2022

Sep. 25—Three members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10980 in Eutawville were honored on Sept. 17 for their service in World War II: Army Lt. Ula Hornikel, 93, of Summerton; Navy Coxswain Ernie Shantie, 96, of Santee and Army Sgt. Maj. David Smart, 93, of Holly Hill.

The VFW 10980 and its auxiliary hosted the event.

The three veterans were honored with personalized notes from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and flags given by the office of U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

Each flag presented had been flown over the state Capitol and Scott's regional director Al Jenkins gave them to the veterans.

"Thank you on behalf of Sen. Scott, who could not be here. It's just so good to be in your presence. Most certainly, it's your day and you're very deserving of it," Jenkins said.

Jenkins told the crowd that Scott remains dedicated to U.S. veterans and their needs.

"This is a fabulous day," said S.C. VFW State Commander Ed Stefanak Jr. to the crowd and the three honorees.

"Today, we have three World War II veterans, who are members of this post, three brave comrades. This is the lineage of the VFW," Stefanak said.

"There's not many World War II veterans left, but the ones that we have, we still need to embrace and we still need to take care of because that's what we do at the VFW — we take care of our veterans," Stefanak said.

"It gives me a good feeling to know that we still have some World War II veterans still around and to be able to present them with flags in observance of what they did during the war and all their accomplishments. That's what we're here for. That's what the VFW's here for: to represent and to recognize our past, present and future," remarked Edwin A. "Ted" Tufts, National Council of Administration 2022-2026 of the VFW, before the ceremony got underway.

"I think it's an honor to have these World War II veterans recognized as often as they can simply because they didn't get it when they first got home" from the war, S.C. VFW Quartermaster Ella C. Calvert said.

Calvert, who is the first woman to serve as S.C. VFW Quartermaster, said she was excited that Hornikel was recognized for her World War II service.

"I was like, 'What? This is going to be a first,'" Calvert said.

Eutawville Mayor Pro Tem James Nutt said the town is proud to honor all veterans and is especially grateful for the opportunity to recognize three who served in World War II.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD


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