Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center Lady Rebel Welders Honor Veterans with Crosses

Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center Lady Rebel Welders Honor Veterans with Crosses

   The All-female Welding II and the Male Welding III and IV classes at Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center (STCTC) fabricated eighty-two crosses for the Ladies of Rosman’s Heritage Day in Rosman North Carolina. “We were visiting Edgefield for its Memorial Day program and saw the crosses that were made by the career center’s students for their veterans and decided then and there we had to have those crosses for Rosman’s (NC) veterans,” explained Sharon Hogshed, president of Ladies of Rosman.

            The 2018-2019 all-female Welding II and the regular Welding III and IV classes at STCTC fabricated the crosses as a class project. “These young people did an excellent job with their craftsmanship. The process taught them about welding, but they also learned quite a bit about community and history,” said Bill Cheatham, STCTC Welding teacher. The eighty-two crosses were welded and the names of the veterans and the wars in which they served were cut with a plasma cutter. The separate pieces were then powder coated and assembled by the students.

             The STCTC Welding students began fabricating the crosses in January and completed them in September of 2019. The chairperson and vice-chairperson of the career center’s AWS Chapter delivered the crosses on October 5, 2019 for the Rosman Heritage Festival. The Ladies of Rosman organizes their Heritage festival annually.

            The crosses celebrated soldiers from Rosman, North Carolina who died in service, were Prisoners of War, or are Missing in Action in WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, or GWOT (Global War on Terror). “We owe it to those who made the ultimate sacrifices for our freedoms to remember them. Our Heritage Festival provides our community the chance to do that,” said Hogshed. 

            Carrie Yonce , AWS Chairperson and Chelsea  Glover, Vice-chairperson worked on the project and made the delivery to Rosman the weekend of the its Heritage Festival. “The whole project was a learning experience. We are exposed to so much more in our welding classes than how to weld,” said Yonce. Bill Cheatham, STCTC’s welding teacher built storage boxes. “If they keep the box dry and store the crosses in it year around, these veterans will be remembered for a long long time,” noted Cheatham.  

              Cheatham and his wife, Charlotte took the AWS leaders to the festival to deliver the crosses. “The crosses they were using were just like the ones Edgefield had before a class a few years ago made theirs; they were wood,” explained Yonce. Members of the Rosman community assisted the Edgefield delegation in unloading and setting up the crosses. “The whole community was so appreciative for the work we did. They made us feel right at home,” said Glover. 

The crosses were welded with the GMAW process using 3/16″ x 3″ steel totaling 410 feet. The students had close to 109 hours in cutting, grit blasting, and welding the crosses. In addition, they designed and cut the eight-two veterans’ names and the wars in which they served. The names were cut on the Welding Department’s CNC plasma cutter using 14 gage steel. One hundred and seventy-eight veterans’ names and wars were created.

Picture 1

Bill Cheatham, far right supervises the unloading of crosses at the Rosman, NC Heritage Festival.

Picture 2

Carrie Yonce, Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center’s AWS Chairperson opens a permanent storage containers built by Bill Cheatham, the programs welding teacher. 

Picture 3

One of many of Rosman’s community members who pitched in with setting up crosses.

Picture 4

Carrie Yonce, Strom Thurmond Career and Technology Center’s AWS Chairperson and Chelsea Glover, Vice-Chairperson install America flags. 

Picture 5

Crosses after installation.

Piture 6

Yonce and Glover celebrate a job well done.