Rodney Cress, Veteran Advocate, Given N.C.’s Highest Award: The Order of the Long Leaf Pine // Video: Salisbury’s Veterans Day Parade

Posted on November 19, 2016

Steve Mensing, Editor

♦ Rodney Cress, Veteran Advocate and Rowan County native, was given North Carolina’s highest award: The Order of the Long Leaf Pine during a luncheon Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342 Monday, November 7th.  Congressman Richard Hudson, Republican 8th District nominated Rodney for the Long Leaf Pine due to his advocacy on behalf of veterans and presented it to Rodney.

Congressman Richard Hudson (Left), Rodney Cress (Center) Millie Cress (Right):

Rodney and I became friends several ago when he began posting veteran information on the RFP, sending us articles about U.S. military history, and overseeing the our veteran announcement page.  Rodney and I share many common interests and enjoy talking about them.  He’s had quite a few life experiences including a tour of combat duty in Vietnam, 31 years of advocating for veterans, transporting prisoners to Central Prison, four decades with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office as a full-time deputy or as a reserve, and is well known for coming to bat for animals and making sure a lot of our feline friends get fed. Empathy and duty must be Rodney’s middle names.  Truly Rodney does all this service out of the natural born goodness of his heart.

Rodney meets several times a year with our U.S. Senators and members of Congress on veteran issues and fights for the rights of veterans and their families and has helped dozens of Rowan and state veterans with their VA benefits.

In May 2008 Rodney was awarded through the HUD/VASH program funding for Homeless Veterans in Rowan County.

Rodney graduated from the U.S. Army Infantry Noncommissioned Officer Candidate School.

From 1970 to 1971 he served as a Sergeant combat squad leaders in the jungles of Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division where he received several accommodations which include:

Bronze Star with Valor.

Bronze Star with Merit.

Army Commendation Medal.

Combat Infantry Badge (CIB).

Expert Marksman.

His veteran achievements include:

Order of the Long Leaf Pine–North Carolina’s highest award.

Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service.

Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award.

N.C. Society of Historians Barringer Award for Excellence for Military History.

Rodney’s story was featured in the Medal of Honor Historical Society newsletter and in the DAV national magazine.

The Rowan Free Press Salutes Rodney Cress for going above and beyond the call of duty in support of our veterans.


Video: Salisbury’s Veterans Day Parade:

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