This was a speech given by South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell recognizing the 1991 Textile Citizen of the Year. World events gave this speech a different character than the usual staged public relations affair.

Thank you for inviting me to join you again this year to celebrate Textile Week in South Carolina.

Last year, we were -- along with the rest of the world -- watching the events in the middle east. We were bracing for a potential storm that we feared could have as devastating an effect on us, our families and our economy as Hurricane Hugo.

And once again, the citizens of our state rose to face the on-coming storm. With courage and a willingness to do whatever it takes to meet the challenge.

Our volunteers in the South Carolina National Guard, the military reserves and those serving as career military personnel were instrumental in the success of desert storm.

But they were not alone. South Carolinaís textile workers were behind them. And the textile workersí jobs were also important.

When the U.S. military forces moved into the Persian Gulf last year, textiles went with them. Some ten thousand items needed by the armed forces in war and peacetime -- including uniforms, helmets, parachutes, tents, bandages and aircraft ñ are made completely or partially from textiles.

Back home, U.S. textile and apparel mills moved quickly to shift and step up production to meet the urgent demands of fighting a desert war, with particular emphasis on desert clothing, boots and sandbags. In support of the war effort, the industry produced 5.2 million pairs of pants, 5.2 million coats, 750,000 camouflage helmet covers, 400,000 field jackets and millions of sandbags. Many of these items were made in South Carolina, by South Carolinians.

In addition, many of the troops called up to serve were textile and apparel employees, some of whom had actually made the products they would be using in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Once again, South Carolinaís textile industry showed what it is made of.

The health of the textile industry is clearly not just an economic issue. It's an issue of vital importance to our countryís national defense. That's one of the reasons why, for years, I have been urging my friends in Congress to pass legislation in support of the textile industry.

And thatís one of the reasons why I promise that I will continue to do so.

Every year, the textile industry faces greater threats from abroad. Our stateís largest employer is being undermined by the steady growth of imports.

We need the textile industry, and the textile industry needs us.

Today I ask all South Carolinians to turn their eyes to this important industry ñ in salute and in support. I'd like to read and sign this executive proclamation: (read proclamation).

I also have the privilege of presenting the award for the South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Associationís Textile Citizen of the Year. She's somebody I think weíd all like to know and work with.

She's somebody who can fill in for two absent co-workers, while learning a new job herself. She's somebody who has been described by her supervisor, (insert name), as "never too busy to give of herself to help others in the community and on the job. She is admired and respected by those who know her, and is an inspiration to many."

That's why, on so many occasions, sheís been recognized by her peers. Her co-workers voted her the "Most Helpful." Several years ago, her church honored her as "Mother of the Year."

She started off at Milliken as a bookkeeper. Today, sheís a cost analyst.

She developed the first computer training program at R. D. Anderson and Daniel Morgan area Vocational Centers, where she has served on the joint computer programming/accounting advisory committee since 1982. This training program has become a model for the state.

She's dedicated to improving the quality of life for people of all ages. Sheís been a worker. A teacher. An advisor. A friend.

Her work helping students learn not only what they need to know, but also helping them get on the right career path, led to her recognition in 1986 as "South Carolina Business Person of the Year" by the Future Business Leaders of America.

She's a good citizen, who makes the time to take an active part in local politics. What's more, sheís been active in a multitude of organizations, from being a brownie troop leader to a member of her church choir to being a spiritual life director of a senior citizens' group.

I could go on and on. Instead, Iíll introduce her to you. Itís my pleasure to recognize the dedicated service of Margaret C. Beaty to the textile industry and the people of her community by naming her South Carolinaís 1991 Textile Citizen of the Year.

 

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