More than 16 million Americans served in the U.S. military during World War II, with more than 400,000 dying in the conflict.
Today those surviving numbers are dwindling rapidly, with nearly 1,000 dying every day.
This week Colquitt County lost one of its own veterans of that conflict with the passing of Hinton Reeves, 93.
Reeves served in the war in the Second Air Division of the Eighth Air Force when the country’s flying forces was still a part of the Army.
Those who knew Reeves said he always had a special place in his heart for those who served in any conflict, not just World War II.
“He was helpful in all the veterans organizations here,” said Clem Weldon, who served during the Vietnam War and is a retired Moultrie Police Department officer.
After returning to Moultrie upon his retirement from the military, Weldon said, he became close with Reeves as he worked to establish a Disabled American Veterans organization in the county.
“I went to him to get some guidance,” Weldon said. “He was always wanting to give something, always wanting to know what he could do for his fellow veterans. He was very patriotic; he loved his country and he loved his fellow veterans. He would do anything in the world for veterans.”
Reeves also was involved in other civic causes, he said.
“He was involved in anything he could be,” Weldon said. “He was a pillar of the community.
“The World War II guys are passing away. There’s not too many left.”
Other friends said that Reeves helped fund a bus that takes veterans to medical appointments with financial contributions and encouraging others to give.
“Hinton and I were real close working for the veterans in the last 20 years,” said Hoyt Holland, also a World War II veteran. “The veterans needed to be able to get the medical treatment they should get.
“He’s a close ally and a close friend of mine. He had a full life.”
Reed’s community involvement also included the Lions Club. He joined the Moultrie chapter in February 1946.
Over the years Reeves also served on the board of directors of C&S Bank of Colquitt County, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority, Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, Moultrie Y, American Red Cross and Magnolia Manor.
He also had served as president of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce, Second Air Division Association and Georgia Home Furnishings Association.
With the Lions Club he was a past president of that organization, as was Reeve’s son Grover, said Duncan Sinclair, the current Lions president, who along with his father are the other father-son team to have served as presidents in Moultrie.
Reeves was a long-time chaplain for the group, and always mentioned veterans in his prayers, Sinclair said.
“He was a real outstanding citizen,” he said.
Observer publisher Dwain Walden described Reeves as a man passionate about his community.
“Mr. Reeves was a champion for Moultrie and Colquitt County. He not only put his shoulder to the task of building a stronger and more vibrant community, but inspired others to do the same. He was a delight at our breakfast club and will be greatly missed,” said Walden. “He was genuinely a good man.”