West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – West Columbia attorney Billy Oswald is known as a down to earth kind of man that genuinely cares about people and their problems. For over forty years, Oswald has represented the “little man” in all types of legal situations. Few may even realize that Oswald once served in the military fighting to protect the freedoms that he now defends in the courtroom.
Each year, Billy Oswald and his law partner, Kelly Burnside, host a community bar-b-que around Christmas. The pair finance the catering of the meal and hundreds come to enjoy their hospitality. What makes it important is where it’s held. The meal is hosted in the American Legion Post on B Avenue in West Columbia.
Oswald, a member of the post, says he doesn’t invite just veterans for a reason. He wants the community to come and sit beside those veterans that risked so much for us all. He wants young people to come with their grand-parents, and come they did Thursday, so that the younger generation will know that what they have was bought and paid for with the blood and sweat of soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who went off as youngsters not much older than themselves to serve.
Thursday, Oswald said more came than they ever have before. The feasted on a West Columbia staple, pulled pork bar-b-que, hash and rice, huge pieces of delicately coated and perfectly fired chicken from a West Columbia / Cayce area institution, Maurice’s Bar-B-Que. Oswald said he believed more than 400 enjoyed the meal, and the numbers had him showing a huge smile. Many stopped to speak, thank him for the meal, and let him know how much they appreciated him. Many in the crowd had sought his advice in years past on everything from a brush with the law to a worker’s compensation or personal injury claim.
In this video, Billy Oswald and Dean Hunt, and Air Force veteran, talks about what the bar-b-que means to them.