Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Lt. Colonel George D. “Marty” Martin III honored by Eastover Ruritan Club

The plaque honoring Lt. Colonel George D.

The plaque honoring Lt. Colonel George D. “Marty” Martin III, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient is unveiled by his family: (l- r) Debbie M. Cauley, sister; George and Thelma Martin, parents; Susan Hayes Martin, wife; and Buddy Sturgis, curator of the S.C. Military Museum on Bluff Road.

Story and photo by Pam Clark

The late Lieutenant Colonel George D. “Marty” Martin III was recently memorialized by the Eastover Ruritan Club with the unveiling of his Congressional Medal of Honor plaque at the new S.C. Military Museum on Bluff Road.

Martin was a son of Eastover Ruritan President George and Thelma Martin. He died in a helicopter crash in Southeast Asia in 2001 as part of Operation Full Accounting, a mission for locating the remains of missing American Soldiers of the Vietnam War.

Susan Hayes Martin, Martin’s widow; his sister, Debbie M. Cauley, his nephew, Ty Russell, his parents, Eastover Ruritans, and friends gathered at the museum for the unveiling of the plaque.

A BBQ meal catered by Joyce Sawyer and Johnny Hunter preceded the award; afterwhich, guests were treated to a fascinating tour by museum curator, Lt. Col. Buddy Sturgis.

The Eastover Ruritan Club was instrumental in nominating Martin for this honor. Martin, was the first Eastover Ruritan Scholarship Recipient in 1979. He graduated from Lower Richland High School in 1979 and from Presbyterian College in 1983.

After graduation, he was commissioned as second Lieutenant of Infantry in the U.S. Army. Martin continued his education. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorous Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Services Commendation, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. Martin is also survived by his daughters, Jessie Martin and Katie Martin.

More about Lt. Col. Martin’s honors and accomplishments can be seen at the S.C. Military Museum. The museum is located off Bluff Road on 1 National Guard Road, across from the USC football stadium.

The museum celebrated its grand opening February 6, 2007. According to museum curator, Lt. Col. Sturgis, the museum already received honors for being one of the top military museums in the nation. It houses four of the most important historical collections in the country.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 1 to 5 pm. For more information call 803-806-4440 or visit the

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