Annual MCL Detachment 924, Young Marines ceremony honors area hero, businessman, all fallen in war
The namesake of U.S. Army Sgt. Mitchell W. Stout Medal of Honor Memorial at Virtue Cemetery in Farragut was remembered for his ultimate sacrifice in combat that saved many lives 51 years ago.
And a Farragut businessman who was a friend of the late sergeant, the late Buddy White, wouldn’t let his bravery go unrewarded or be forgotten. Mr. White also earned praise during the annual Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Young Marines and U.S. Marine Corps League Detachment 924 Memorial Day ceremony at Sgt. Stout’s place of honor along Evans Road Monday morning, May 31.
The late businessman was praised for “donating this property for this wonderful memorial,” said former U.S. Army Capt. Kathy Winters, a combat nurse in Vietnam.
One of five monument stones at the cemetery honors Sgt. Stout, 20, a Medal of Honor Citation recipient from Lenoir City who “displaying great courage” picked up a live grenade to shield the blast and therefore save his fellow soldiers in a bunker, at the cost of his own life, during a North Vietnamese attack in 1970, the event’s program stated.
The early efforts of Retired Master Sgt. Richard O’Green to honor Sgt. Stout met with frustration — including him “going to the Town of Farragut and suggesting that the walkway at Turkey Creek be named in Stout’s honor” before realizing “that went nowhere” in the early 1990s, former USMC Staff Sgt. Frank Waller Sr. said during a speech.
But Waller said O’Green met with success when suggesting a pair of stories be written and published in the Press Enterprise (now farragutpress), which happened in December 1993. “In January 1994, people started to take interest.
“... One such person was named James R. Buddy White,” he added.
After Mr. White received a book about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial “as a Christmas gift from his daughter,” Waller said the book “gave him the idea to build a memorial to Mitchell Stout, quoting him to say, ‘I figured if no one else was going to do it, I’d do it myself.’
“... It all came to fruition on March 12, 1995, on the 25th anniversary of Stout’s death and after nearly a year of planning,” Waller added.