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Area native inducted into state Veterans HoF

POSTED: November 27, 2017 6:00 p.m.
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Lt. Col. Rembert Rollison takes a break in Vietnam.

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Two U. S. Army veterans, Lt. Col. Rembert Gary Rollison, who has ties to Liberty County, and Lt. Alexander Ramsey Nininger Jr., have been inducted posthumously into the Georgia Military Veterans Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made by 2013 founder of the nonprofit organization, retired Col. Paul Longgrear of Pine Mountain.

"Their framed photos, together with those of the 66 previously selected members, will be prominently displayed on the Heroes’ Wall of the Floyd Building in the State Capitol complex," he said.

Nininger and Rollison were inducted at a ceremony on Nov. 4 at St. Luke Ministry Center in Columbus.

Retired Col. Rick White, chairman of the hall’s board, said, "Nominees must have ties to Georgia and qualify in one of three categories: valor for heroic action in combat; outstanding achievement while in service, or significant local, state or national contributions after leaving active duty," White explained.

Rollison was born in 1943 in Jesup, was raised in the Liberty County area and still has relatives here. He received his commission as a second lieutenant in 1966, completing Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne and Ranger schools the same year. His first combat duty was with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he was cited for heroic actions during Operation Junction City in Tay Ninh, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Silver Star.

He then left the service in 1968, but returned the next year to join the 101st Airborne Division. During a siege in Vietnam with the 101st, he proved himself as a combat leader during the Battle at Firebase Ripcord. For his leadership actions during three weeks of combat, he was awarded two Silver Stars and the Soldier’s Medal.

Rollison’s assignments would take him to many Army tours for the remainder of his career, both in and outside the country. Upon his retirement in 1987 after 20 years of service to his country, he moved to Alaska, serving as chief security officer for the Alyeska Pipeline during the Exxon-Valdez oil spill cleanup.

In October 2000, Rollison lost a battle with pancreatic and liver cancer and was laid to rest with full military honors by his fellow rangers in Gainesville.

Born in Gainesville in 1918, Nininger was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1942 he was dispatched to the Phillipine Islands near Abucay, Bataan. Although assigned to another company not then in combat, he voluntarily attached himself to a unit that was being attacked by an enemy. In hand-to-hand fighting, Nininger repeatedly forced his way into the hostile position. Though exposed to heavy enemy fire, he fought with rifle and hand grenades, thereby destroying several enemies in sniper and foxhole positions.

Although wounded three times, he continued his attacks until he was killed. Nininger was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first to receive the award for valor in World War II. Later, the U.S. Navy built and named a victory ship in his honor in 1945. This ship continued in service until 1969.

For more details on the hall and its members, go to www.GMVHOF.org.

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