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VFW 7764 recognized best of the year
Ronnie McCall presenting a check to Wanda Kunney Mosley for the John Kunney Memorial Scholarship Foundation
Ronnie McCall presenting a check to Wanda Kunney Mosley for the John Kunney Memorial Scholarship Foundation

VFW Post 7764 recognized its people of the year winners last Monday night at the regularly scheduled meeting.  Members welcomed the VFW Boy Scout of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, and Teacher of the Year. Ms. Wanda Mosley was on hand representing the John Kunney Memorial Scholarship Foundation. Everyone agreed it was an absolutely exceptional group.

Wanda Kunney Mosley was presented a check for $3,000 to support the John Kunney Scholarship Fund from Commander Ronnie McCall.  The funds were raised in a recent Boston butt fundraiser by Post 7764.  The Post has traditionally supported the scholarship in memory of Mr. John Kunney, who spent more than 35 years teaching agriculture and electricity in the Tattnall County School System.

Henry Hagen of Scout Troop 939 of Lyons was the Scout of the Year, and his résumé buttressed the selection.  He graduated from Vidalia Heritage Academy with a 4.1 GPA, he was a member of the National Honor Society, and competed in Football, Baseball, Cross Country, Track, and Scholastic Chess teams in addition to volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations. He achieved Eagle Scout rank and earned his Eagle Palm on January 17 of 2022.  Henry has 29 merit badges to his credit in everything from cooking and welding to engineering and camping. He’s held leadership positions as Eagle Project Leader, Chaplain’s Aide, Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Scribe. 

In the introduction to Henry’s Community Service Record, he writes, “Scouting has taught me that being actively involved in my community is important because it’s good to give back to the people you live near, and form lasting relationships with those around us.  You must do what you can to make the community a better place to live for everyone.” 

Henry is the son of Mike and Leesa Hagan of Lyons.

Paul Stavriotis of Glennville was selected as Firefighter of the Year.  Paul graduated from Firefighting School and then joined the Tattnall County Fire/EMA as a Suppression Volunteer in March 2017.  Since then, he has added Hazardous Materials, Pipeline Emergencies, Due Regard, Rescue Specialist, CPR/First Aid, Crash Victim Certification, Live Burn, and several FEMA Incident Command System Courses to his certification. He was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 2018 and promoted to Station Chief in 2019.

Paul holds a degree in Agriculture from the University of Georgia, and, in addition to his firefighter duties, he is the owner operator of Timber Ridge Holdings, LLC, and he is employed by Fries Farms as Ingredient Purchaser and Animal Welfare Officer.  He is a member of Philadelphia Masonic Lodge #73 in Glennville since 2020 and a member of both Savannah Alee Shrine and Tattnall Shrine since November 2021.  He is married to the former Katie Sebera, and they have four sons:  Ethan, Jacob, Lucas, and Caleb.

Michael Jarrell from Collins was the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.  Michael started his career with the Georgia Department of Corrections at age 20 in 1995, during which time he also served as a reserve Officer with the Collins Police Department.

In August 1997, Michael Jarrell began working with the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office, and he attended Basic Law Enforcement Training.  After graduation, he was promoted to Deputy Sheriff and K-9 Officer and attained the rank of Sergeant during his tenure with the Sheriff’s Office.

Since then, Michael has served with the Metter, Collins, and Reidsville Police Departments, and he is also a volunteer with the Collins Fire Department.

On April 14, 2021, Assistant Chief got a call to a home invasion and kidnapping with a firearm.  A male suspect had kidnapped his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint and was reported headed toward Collins.  Michael caught up with the vehicle, and a high speed chase ensued through the backroads of North Tattnall County.  The suspect was driving in a reckless, dangerous manner, and Michael feared for the captive and other motorists.  The suspect ultimately got on I-16, and law enforcement from the counties of Candler, Evans, and Bulloch joined the chase.  The vehicle was stopped, using PIT maneuver, by the Georgia State Patrol, and the suspect exited, brandishing a weapon.  But his victim was able to escape, and the suspect was fatally shot. 

Solid training and skill allowed law enforcement officers to save the life of the victim and prevent a potentially more devastating incident.  It is the same kind of circumstances many law enforcement officers face daily throughout the United States, and Michael’s skill and devotion to duty served him and his community well.

Michael and his wife, Spring, have four children: Dawson, Megan, Garrett, and Madison. 

Stephen Eubanks was selected as VFW 7764 Teacher of the Year. Over a 20-year period, Steve has been a Special Agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Tri-Circuit Drug Task Force; a Tattnall County Deputy Sheriff and Patrol Officer; a Social Studies and Physical Education teacher at Glennville Middle School; a PE teacher; football, baseball, basketball, and softball coach, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coordinator for Collins Elementary and Middle School; and Police Chief for the Collins Police Department. Currently, he is the PE and Social Studies teacher, softball and baseball coach, and athletic director at North Tattnall Middle School.

Steve’s Post-Secondary Education include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Brewton-Parker College, a Master of Science degree in Post-Secondary Education from Troy State, and an Educational Specialist Internship at Valdosta State and Advanced Educational Studies at Augusta University.

“I have strived to promote the ideals of citizenship and patriotism to the students of Tattnall County Schools, whether it be in my lessons delivered as a social studies teacher, my encounters as deputy sheriff, or in ensuring that the American Flag is flying and the “Star Spangled Banner” is played prior to each home game that I have coached. My goal has always been to prepare the students of Tattnall County to be future leaders by promoting independent thinking and supporting life-long learning initiatives,” Steve said.  

Steve was the 7764 representative and finished second in the 7th District competition.  Each winner was provided a $50 check, and Steve was awarded $50 from District 7.

In other business, Quartermaster Ronnie Thomas provided the monthly Quartermaster Report and reemphasized that it appeared that 7764 was in line for All-State and All-American honors again in 2022.  Auxiliary President Joe Boyett and Vice President Casey Corbett updated the first Firecracker Motorcycle Dice Run fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, July 9, 2022, which will begin at the 7764 post at 8:30 a.m.