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UNA honors Oliver with alumni award

By Staff
Kim West
FLORENCE – Troy Oliver, a retired brigadier general and incoming Russellville mayor, was awarded the Military Service Award last Friday by the University of North Alabama National Alumni Association.
Oliver, who will take office Nov. 3, was honored during a banquet at the Guillot University Center for his 34-year military career after graduating from the Reserved Officers Training Corps at Florence State College, now known as UNA, in 1965.
The Military Service Award, which was also given this year to Paul Revere O'Mary and Columbus Monroe Womble, is awarded each year to UNA alumni who serve with distinction in the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard or NASA.
Oliver, who commanded a 44-member platoon with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967, joined the National Guard in Russellville in 1968 and served as company commander, operations officer, executive officer and battalion commander of the Florence-based 115th Signal Battalion.
His 19 military decorations include the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star with valor, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Legion of Merit.
In addition to his military service, he was president of Tidwell Industries in Haleyville and founder, president and CEO of Crimson Industries. Oliver is a trustee at First Baptist Church, president of the local camp of Gideon International and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Franklin County Cattlemen's Assocation.
"I was extremely pleased that they selected me for this award," said Oliver, who now owns and operates cattle farms in Belgreen and Hodges. "My wife and both graduated from UNA – I graduated in '65 and she graduated in '68."
Oliver is married to the former Brenda Thornton, who has taught first grade West Elementary for the past 39 years. They have three children, Jon T., Sharon and Laura Beth.