Local News

January 8, 2012

Dalton rewards Martinez with gifts

J.R. Martinez might have to take an extra bag or two on his flight back to Los Angeles. Saturday during “J.R. Martinez Day: A Welcome Home Celebration” at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, the former Dalton resident received several tokens of appreciation from the community.

• A commendation from Gov. Nathan Deal, presented by state Sen. Charlie Bethel and state Rep. Roger Williams.

• A proclamation making Jan. 7, 2012, “J.R. Martinez Day” in Dalton and Whitfield County, presented by Mike Babb, chairman of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, and Dalton Mayor David Pennington.

• A key to the City of Dalton, presented by Pennington.

• The Lions Club International Medal of Distinction, presented by Haynes Townsend, a member of the Lions Club. It is the highest honor given by the group to a non-member.

• A gift basket, presented by Debbie Freeman, his former principal at Dalton High School.

• A Dalton High football helmet signed by his football teammates, presented by friends and former teammates Mitchell Boggs and Aaron Ward.

• A Dalton High stadium seat, presented by Ron Ward, a friend and DHS athletic director.

• The last jersey Martinez wore while playing football for the Catamounts in 2001, presented by Ronnie McClurg, a friend and former football coach.

• A flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol, from U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, and a flag from United We Stand that will fly outside the Whitfield County Courthouse on patriotic holidays. Both were presented by Dewey Moss of the American Legion.

• A POW-MIA bracelet from Jo Anne Shirley.

• The unit guidon from Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, the unit Martinez served with in Iraq, and a complete army combat uniform presented by Charlie Troop, the Dalton-based Army National Guard unit.

• Rugs from Shaw Industries bearing the picture of Martinez after he won the latest season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

• A Karastan rug from Mohawk Industries presented by Joe Yarbrough, Mohawk vice president and Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce chairman.

• A brick with his name on it that will be placed at the entrance to the Dalton Community Center, which will reopen on Jan. 16.

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