Locklier, McGowin honored

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tom Locklier and Steve McGowin were recently awarded Alabama Legislative Medals of Honor.


Two Andalusia residents were honored recently for their military service by the Alabama Sports Festival Foundation, Gov. Robert Bentley and the Alabama Legislature with the Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor.

Army Staff Sgt. Tom Locklier and Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Steve McGowin were both awarded the medal last week at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

Locklier is a 1976 graduate of Andalusia High School and served in the United States Army as a military police officer and was promoted to Special Agent.

McGowin currently serves as an Andalusia police officer.

Both have a long list of special operations, deployments and other services.

Locklier provided protection for dignitaries such as the secretary of defense and others, traveled on classified missions to 13 countries, worked felony cases worldwide dealing with sex crimes and homicides, and performed crime scene investigation.

He has 13 federal law enforcement certifications, and taught law enforcement on a college level.

“My father was in the military, and I always wanted to be a federal agent,” he said. “So I joined the military. The military lets you meet your goals much quicker in life.”

Locklier said he was also there on Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall was dismantled.

He served during Desert Storm from August 1990 to February 1991.

Locklier currently works as the maintenance supervisor for HUD Housing in Niceville, Fla.

“It was humbling to receive the medal, and I’m sure there are numerous other disabled veterans in the area that deserved the medal as well,” he said. “I’m very honored to have been considered for this recognition.”

During Locklier’s service he lost use of his left arm for several years.

“I thank God that after several surgeries, I have about 90 percent use of it,” he said.

McGowin retired from the Marine Corps after 21 years, and conducted operations and training in 56 countries.

“I knew that I was going to be into the military since I was 10,” he said. “There were two things that I wanted to do, and I told everyone that I was going into the Marine Corps and to be a police officer.

McGowin was deployed in Desert Storm, Desert Shield and four deployments in Somalia.

He has a special operations backgrounds, conducted classified operations in Central and South America, and joint operations in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan.

McGowin also has an extensive counter-terrorism background.

“I’m very honored to be recognized by the state legislature, Gov. Bentley, the Alabama Sports Festival Foundation, for the service that I provided to our country,” McGowin said. “I thank them greatly for the recognition, and it was a pleasure to be a part of the opening ceremonies for our youth summer Olympics. I would like to thank the sports festival for their service and support for the youth programs, and that each year they choose to honor a different group of people.”