SC Guard rooting for recovery of honored retiree

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The man known as "The Voice of the South Carolina National Guard" is getting back the deep Southern tones he used to comfort soldiers who called home from military deployments far away.

Retired Army Master Sgt. David Beckham says he's recuperating from surgery that affected his speech, but he's intent on getting better. Beckham says he plans to spend the Memorial Day weekend resting.

The 72-year-old's friends at the South Carolina Military Department say Beckham's deep voice and friendly manner are sorely missed. He was well known for putting those deployed soldiers in touch with family members through a special military phone network.

Deputy Adjutant General for state operations John Shuler says Beckham was an ambassador between the military and civilian worlds.

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