Georgia County Government - Fall 2015 - (Page 91)

FeAture Social Media and THE DOG TAGS A story from Barrow County By Danielle Austin, Barrow County Clerk Social media helped Barrow County Resident Patricia McElroy recover her father's military dog tags from his time of service during WWII. Photo credit Barrow County. A RINGING PHONE startled Patricia McElroy awake one morning in the middle of May 2015. She would have never guessed what the person on the other end of the line had to say. A soldier's dog tags from World War II had been found in Normandy and were believed to be her father's. It all started when Matt Key, a metal detecting enthusiast from France, sent a message to Barrow County Clerk Danielle Austin stating that he had found a set of WWII dog tags in Normandy that he believed belonged to a citizen of the county. Thomas W. Murray was the soldier's name, and his next of kin listed Barrow County Clerk Danielle Austin (right) pictured with County Resident Patricia McElroy. McElroy was presented with her father's military dog tags from WWII at a Barrow County Commission meeting in June 2015. Photo credit Barrow County. on the tags was Horace Murray. The tags had Barrow, Ga., on them but Key had mistaken the G for a C initially (much of the information on the tag had been eroded). Key had done a lot of research on his own. He had already found the following information. Thomas was born on Feb. 10, 1916. He died on Dec. 11, 2005, and he enlisted in Fort Knox, Ken., on Oct. 14, 1940. Austin sent out a request for help from the citizens of the county on their government Facebook page and within 24 hours the post had been viewed more than 30,000 times and shared almost 600. Through this process it was learned that Thomas' brother, Horace, died in Normandy on June 13, 1944. On May 18, 2015, Austin called McElroy to ask her certain questions to verify that the dog tags did indeed belong to her father. McElroy was overjoyed to find out that she would be able to get such a wonderful piece of her father's legacy back. "He was lifetime Army and proud of it", said McElroy. Key sent over the dog tags as well as a coin that was found at the same time. The tags were presented to McElroy at the Barrow County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. ■ FALL 2015 91

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Fall 2015

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Putting the Private Sector to Work for Georgia’s Counties
Military Partnerships with Georgia Counties a Win-Win
Georgia Helps Itself: The Efforts to Provide Funding Alternatives
A New Direction
Rebounding Economy Leads to Reform in Property Tax Law
The Crisis on our Roads: Turning the Tide on Surge in Georgia Traffic Deaths
2015 Legislative Service Award Recipients
Education and Economic Development Go Hand-in-Hand
County Collaborations with Local Schools Save Money, Improve Efficiency
Georgia’s Technical Colleges: Where Business and Education Intersect
Welcome to 191 Peachtree, ACC G's New Home
Georgia County Internship Program: Summer Success Stories
ACCG Heads to Jekyll Island for the Legislative Leadership Conference
Conference Agenda
I, You, Me, and We
Reducing In-the-Line-of Duty Deaths with Below 100 Train the Trainer
“Her Majesty” Instills Valuable Lessons: Lessons learned from the Hancock County Courthouse Fire
Thank You to our Partners
Why Can’t We Just Keep It All? The Case for Records & Information Management
Social Media and the Dog Tags
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - Fall 2015