Tom Mullikin receives two Senate resolutions

By W. Thomas Smith, Jr.

for the Courier

Less than a week before global expedition leader Tom Mullikin began the first leg of his month-long 500-mile trek across South Carolina, the chairman of the S.C. Floodwater Commission received two Senate resolutions: One for his forthcoming South Carolina Seven (SC7) expedition and the other for Mullikin himself, commending his career and life’s work overall.

Both resolutions were introduced and adopted on the floor of the Senate at the S.C. State House on Tuesday, June 23.

Sponsored by Sen. Thomas Alexander (District 1 – Oconee and Pickens counties), a portion of the first bill reads: “To commend and honor the S.C. Floodwater Commission and its partners for establishing the SC7 expedition and for facilitating its exploration of the seven wonders of South Carolina and its support and protection of the state’s beautiful environment.”

A portion of the second bill reads: “To commend and honor Major General Thomas Stowe ‘Tom’ Mullikin, retired commanding general of the S.C. State Guard and current chairman of the S.C. Floodwater Commission, for his leadership in the forthcoming SC7 expedition and for his visionary work; sacrifices of time, energy, and resources; exemplary leadership and overall example for which the state of South Carolina, the nation, and the world are all beneficiaries.”

Last Wednesaday, Mullikin and his hand-picked team embarked on his SC7 expedition, a first-of-its-kind mission that has participants hiking the length and breadth of the Palmetto State from the mountains to the sea.

So-named for the seven geographic wonders unique to S.C., Mullikin’s route includes each segment of the Palmetto Trail from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Upstate to the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Basin (aka ACE Basin) in the Lowcountry. The SC7 expedition is both literal (for those physically participating) and virtual (for those in nursing and assisted-living facilities statewide who will be able to participate virtually). The virtual participation is accomplished through Facebook Live each day during the expedition.

Experts along the route will lead discussions ranging from conservation, resiliency, adult and childhood fitness, outdoor therapy, floodwater-mitigation issues and more. The discussions during trailside fireside chats by will be led by key partners in the outdoor and conservation industries. Expedition partners so far include the S.C. Department of Natural Resources; the S.C. Floodwater Commission; the S.C. Dept. of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism; the Association of the U.S. Army’s Palmetto State Chapter; the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor; Yamaha Rightwater; the Palmetto Conservation Foundation; the Cape Romain Natural Wildlife Refuge; the Nature Conservancy; the Edgar Dyer Institute for Leadership and Public Policy – Coastal Carolina University, and many others.

In addition to his leadership of the S.C. Floodwater Commission and former command of the S.C. State Guard, Mullikin is an energy-environmental attorney, a university professor, and a former U.S. Army officer. He has spent much of the last four decades traversing, navigating, and climbing mountains on every continent on earth (including reaching the summits of more than 20 mountains across the globe) and he has logged SCUBA dives in all the world’s oceans, including ice dives in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.