Craig Nations is a supervisor at Phillip Van Heusen receiving department, and he also drives a school bus for Jonesville Elementary School.
But mostly, Nations finds himself managing the clock, he says. “I’m a volunteer coach and referee for recreational basketball and baseball programs. I’ve been on both sides of sports.
“I’m always racing to get to some activity relating to children because it’s very important to help and stay involved with them,” continued Nations. “I like to volunteer at my church too.”
Nations, a Swan Creek native, said he attended Jonesville Elementary and is a graduate of Starmount High School. He has four children, Adam, Sara, Wesley, and Carrie.
“I come from a good family, whose family name has a proud tradition of serving in the military,” he said.
“Adam is ready to be deployed to Afghanistan in March,” he said.
“Of course I worry about seeing my son heading overseas, but we’re a family of faith and my prayers along with the blessing that comes from God will get my boy home safely,” hopes Nations.
However, today Nations finds himself fighting to preserve the honor of two World War II Veterans, his uncles, who are buried in Bethel Baptist in Rhonda.
“They were buried with military honors,” said Nations. “They both served in war. Unfortunately, someone stole the bronze plaques on their tombstones. You can’t even identify the buried because all information is gone.”
Nations said that the incident is not petty, adding that the tomb raiding of the bronze on a headstone is the most despicable act one can do to the deceased.
“I have eight uncles, seven who served in the military,” Nations said. “My mother, Pansey Nations, is devastated that people would resort to such a horrific act. I’m speaking up for the family. I’m speaking up soldiers.
“It wasn’t just disrespectful for our family name, but for all Veterans who fight to protect our country,” said Nations. “So that’s why I’m doing all I can to honor my uncles and to inform the public that we should not forget the journey of our servicemen. With that, I come forward.”
Graveside next to his uncle’s Army PFC Elmer Vestal and Army PFC Coy Vestal, Nations pointed to the tombs missing the plaques.
“The theft doesn’t wipe out their career and honor though,” said Nations.
“I’m not an attention seeking individual,” said Nations. “I work to make ends meet. I do what I can to help the community.
“I’m not one to go and file complaints either, nor try to track down who’s responsible, but if I can do what I can do to talk with the community about what happened to my family, it helps put closure,” said Nations.
“I’ll find a way to replace the plaques.”