Operation Grateful Heart of Blount County

Our Mission is to recognize, honor, and support those service members and their families, as well as to express the thanks of a grateful county for their service to our country.

Alabama has a long and rich history of support for our men and women called to service. This specific effort began in response to a Memorandum of Agreement signed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao on July 7, 2003. The agreement made specific plans for areas of cooperation between the departments and their work responsibilities so that military personnel could receive excellent and coordinated support as they return to their homes and jobs.

Led by Governor Bob Riley, the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, Office of Workforce Development, Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and the Alabama National Guard took the agreement one step further. They did so by, not only making sure that personnel within their various departments collaborate on behalf of our returning military, but also by reaching out to all areas of the state and local communities.

With a true sense of gratitude for our citizens wearing a military uniform and being in harm’s way, Governor Riley launched Operation Grateful Heart on June 3, 2004.

Announcing the 2016 Veterans Day Parade
Champions of Freedom!

Entrants of floats for the 2016 Veterans Day Parade are asked to complete and return this year's entry form no later than Monday, October 31, 2016. Each form must be signed and dated by the entrant. The online form may be completed and submitted online or saved and printed for mailing to the address provided on the form.

The Leaders
Operation Grateful Heart Blount County

Left to Right
Lealand Venable, Zachary Armstrong, Molly Armstrong and Donnie Jackson

Lester Hallman

President of Operation Grateful Heart Blount County
Wife, Vickie Perrin Hallman Married 40 years 2 Sons, Chad and Sam Chad and Emily Hallman, Granddaughter Julia-Ann Sam and Maureen Hallman, Granddaughters Virginia and Anne Frances
Lives on Pine Mountain in Blount County
United States Army 1969-1970 Combat Engineer in Vietnam
United States Navy Reserves 1977-1997 SEABEE Combat Engineer Vietnam War Desert Storm War
President of Operation Grateful Heart Blount County
Commander of Blount County Chapter #28 DAV
Member of American Legion, Post #179 Blountsville
Member of VFW, Post #179 Blountsville 
Vice Presdient of Blount County Cattlemans Association
Trustee of Pine Mountain Community Center Board Member of Pine Mountain Volunteer Fire Department
Volunteer with Pine Mountain Community Center
Member of Blount County Historical Society and Museum
Attends Remlap First Baptist Church
Member of Blount County/Oneonta Chamber of Commerce 
Serves as Lees Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery Proprietor

Morris Don Jackson

Vice President of Operation Grateful Heart Blount County
Wife of 15 years Bobbie Jean Jackson
Military Service: Alabama National Guard 1962-1964
United States Army 1965-1972
Alabama National Guard 1973-Retired in 2005
Vietnam War Commander of American Legion Post #72, Oneonta, Alabama
Vice Commander of Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 28, Oneonta, Alabama 
Senior Vice Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #5624, Snead, Alabama
Member of Blount County/Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Member of Blount County Historical Society
Assistant District Commissioner of Black Warrior Council of Boy Scouts of America

Michael Jones, American Legion Post #818, Snead, Alabama

"The American Legion Post #818 mailed homemade cookies and brownies to the troops overseas"
For membership information, please contact Michael Jones at 256-506-5370


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© Blount County Historical Society 2016. All rights reserved.
Page last updated March 22, 2017.