Greer was presented a special plaque this week by Ralph Poe, commander of DAV Chapter 80 in Jefferson, of which Greer is a member. Greer was unable to attend the presentation ceremony in Raleigh last weekend, so Poe accepted the plaque on his behalf, and officially presented it to Greer in his home Tuesday.
“I feel proud. This is something nice,” said Greer of the award.
Although recovering from an illness, the 85-year-old Greer was all smiles for the presentation. He has always been known for his sense of humor, and is fondly nicknamed “Hot Lips” for his perfect tones on the bugle he learned to play after returning from World War II. Greer served in the U.S. Army from 1945-47 first as a truck driver and then as a gunner in the 2nd Armored Division under General Patton in Germany.
When asked about his service, Greer said he was drafted out of high school. He was also driving a school bus at the time, so he was given the job of truck driver.
“When I was drafted, they just pushed me through the line, said they needed a truck driver,” Greer said. “They asked me if I wanted Army or Navy. I said 'Navy,' and they said 'you're in the Army.'”
Because he dropped out of high school to serve in the war, Greer never graduated. In May 2008, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx came to the county to present Greer with his high school diploma.
Greer's son, Buddy Greer, a former Marine who served in Vietnam and is commander of the Marine Corps League Detachment in Ashe, said if anyone knows of someone who had to drop out of high school to serve in combat, they can be presented their diploma by Congress.
After returning from the war, Greer lived and worked in Pennsylvania at the Chrysler tank plant near Avondale. He said he made the wooden boxes for tank parts. Upon returning to Ashe, he became one of the first Christmas tree growers in Ashe County, and was active in various agricultural endeavors.
Greer was born and raised in the Horse Creek community. He and his late wife Edith Johnson Greer raised six children. They have 13 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.
Last year, Greer made his first trip to the nation's capital on the Honor Flight for World War II veterans to see the WWII Memorial. He toured the capital with other veterans, including J.C. Norton of Ashe.
Greer has been the recipient of numerous awards through veterans organizations including the DAV Meritorious Service Award in June 2009 and the Commanders Appreciation Award from American Legion Post 275 in 2002.
Poe said he is proud that Greer has received the Outstanding Disabled American Veteran of the Year award as it is the first for an Ashe County veteran. DAV Chapter 80 has about 100 members and is at 100 percent strength.
DAV Chapter 80 Commander Ralph Poe, left, presents the award for Outstanding Disabled American Veteran of the Year 2012 to Marvin Greer of Jefferson.
Marvin Greer is pictured with two of his children, Becky and Buddy.
Marvin Greer is fondly nicknamed “Hot Lips” for the perfect pitch he created on a bugle, playing for years at veterans events in the county, and here at the 2010 Christmas in July Festival.