Couple honored at annual charity dinner
Feb 03, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
When Billy "Jiggs" McCombs was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II, the farthest thing from his mind was receiving any accolades.
Now, almost 70 years later, McCombs, 91, is being honored along with his wife, Mildred Kidd, 78, by Parks Methodist Retirement Village at the 11th annual Feast of Hearts Dinner Tuesday at the MCM Grande Hotel, for being representative of this year's theme, "Greatest Generation."
Ted Hogan and his wife Naomi (Pedie) Hogan will also be honored at the event.
"This year, the theme is celebrating their generation," Holly Hardin, assistant vice president of development for the Sears Methodist Retirement System, said. "We looked for couples we thought symbolized the commitments, contributions and the value system of that generation and they were representative choices. There were many people on this campus that would have been equally good choices."
Hardin said the phrase the "best generation" was borrowed from Tom Brokaw's book, "The Greatest Generation."
"I'm just excited to be honored," McCombs, who has lived in Ector County since 1952, said.
"It's going to be very special to him and meaningful to all of us to enjoy the event," Kidd said. "We enjoy it every year and the work these people do for the benefit of this place. It's always an exciting event. They do a bang-up good job."
McCombs served under General George S. Patton for "three years, one month and 28 days" in the war. Eight of those months were spent in German prison camps after crossing the Moselle River to find German soldiers waiting.
Even though he had no food and underwent hard labor, McCombs said he never lost hope and the conditions of the labor camp he was in were far better than the conditions of Japanese camps of the same era.
Ted Hogan, Sr., and his wife, Naomi (Pedie) Hogan, are honorees.
"It's a surprise and we feel like it needed to go to somebody else," Hogan, 87, a native of Crane.
"I consider it an honor because we like Parks Methodist and have lived here for four and a half years," Naomi (Pedie) Hogan said.
The couple has been married 63 years and has a son, Ted Hogan, Jr., who also lives in Odessa.
"The event recognizes Parks and the purpose of it is to make money for the people that outlived their income," Ted Hogan said. "It's a very important cause for us because nobody has to move."
The Victory Belles, a musical act from the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, will perform at the event.
A table of eights costs $400 and individual tickets are $50.
Proceeds will help provide care for residents whose years have exceeded their resources, Hardin said.
Parks Methodist Retirement Village currently has about 175 residents and is in the process of expanding its property to accommodate about 300 residents.
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