2cbe7032-c800-455a-9c6d-c88f3c775d46-large16x9_wpde_backusfuneral_1-3-17Florence World War II veteran Rev. Dr. Vandroth Backus, Sr.,91, received a full military burial, with honors, on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, at the Florence National Cemetery.

Rev. Backus was one of more than 20,000 African Americans who joined the Marines during World War II.

He trained at Montford Point Camp in North Carolina before the U.S. armed forces were desegregated.

In 2012, the 368 surviving members of this group were honored during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

Dr. Backus was the first black policeman in the City of Florence since reconstruction.

He also served as an educator in the Darlington Public School System for 14 years and worked for Morris College, his alma mater, for many years.

Dr. Backus served his country during World War II and the Korean War.

He is the pastor and founder of Monumental Baptist Church in Florence.

Dr. Backus is married to Florence Smith Backus and they are parents to three children.

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