DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - WALB and Montlick and Associates would like to recognize the Heroes Among Us.
Each month, we will spotlight an active duty man or woman, or veteran, whose service for our country goes beyond the battleground.
Lamar Petties served in the Marine Corps for 21 years.
Since then, he has dedicated every second of every day to serving others and sharing his love and faith in God.
His generosity is something that cannot go unnoticed.
To Lamar Petties, family is everything.
"Sometimes I think they think I'm crazy," joked Petties.
It's probably because of his relentless selflessness and mission to make this world a better place.
"If you help other people, and think about this for a minute, if you're helping other people, you don't have time to think about yourself," he said.
His passion to serve others only intensified when he joined the Marine Corps in 1972.
"It taught me a lot of values," he said. "I already had values, but these added to the values that I had. It made me want to be more than what I was."
Throughout his years in the military, Petties served as a Corrections Officer, a Motor Transport Maintenance Chief, a drill instructor, and an Environmental Protection Specialist.
But maybe one of his proudest accomplishments was a Safety Award renamed in his honor at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.
"It had my name on it, 'Lamar Petties Safety Award.' That was awesome. That was really awesome. I just loved that. I really loved that," said Petties.
But he didn't stop there.
After retiring from the MCLB, he continued to help out his neighbors.
The floods of 1994 only proved his character.
Despite having severe home damage himself, Petties was out helping others without second thought, stripping walls, and distributing food.
"When you can make somebody else happy, or you can help somebody else out," he said, "it's a good feeling."
Just like during the floods, Petties' house and neighborhood took another hit after January's tornado.
And once again, Petties was out working to help in any way he could.
"To see everybody, right after it happened, grabbing chainsaws, not waiting for anybody, but grabbing chainsaws and start cutting trees down, clearing the roads, that was just awesome," he said.
Petties' selflessness goes beyond the state and beyond the country.
He and his wife have been on multiple mission trips throughout the past 15 years.
"Whew! There are a lot of them. A lot of them," Petties recalled.
Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Cambodia, and Thailand just to name a few.
And with every visit, Petties shares the word of God with people he said are hungry for faith.
"And when people are hungry, you want to feed them," he said. "And it makes you feel good to feed them."
He said he returns from each trip, a better person than he was before because with each mission, he gets closer to reaching his ultimate goal.
"I want to help as many people as I possibly can get to heaven. Whatever I have to do to do that," Petties said. "And I try to use that 86,400 seconds a day to glorify God. That's me."
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