Don Hammond

Anchor & Reporter

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Don Hammond – WLTZ-TV First News Anchor & Multi-media Journalist

Don Hammond, an Army veteran and an accomplished journalist and broadcaster, joined WLTZ-TV First News in January 2017.

He anchors weeknight newscasts and reports.

Hammond served four years in the 25th Infantry Division from 1974-78.

He was honorably discharged and began his broadcast career at WLVV/WCNW in Fairfield, Ohio.

The attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in March 1981 prompted Hammond to re-enlist in the Army.

He attended the Defense Information School to become a military broadcast specialist.

1981-84, he rose through the ranks at the Southern Command Network eventually becoming the nightly news anchor at SCN in the country of Panama.

Hammond also successfully completed the 7th Special Forces Airborne and Jungle Expert courses at Fort Sherman, Panama.

He finished his military career in 1986 as an instructor at the military broadcast school specializing in voice and diction.

Don re-entered civilian broadcasting as a radio news anchor at WKRG in Mobile, Alabama and then WQID in Biloxi, Mississippi.

In 1987, he joined WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi as a television news reporter. He was soon promoted to weekend news anchor.

In 1989, Don joined KCRA in Sacramento, California as morning and noon news anchor.

Hammond also served as a television news anchor at KENS-TV in San Antonio, Texas, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, and at other stations.

He served as the Washington DC bureau chief for Sinclair broadcasting.

Throughout his career, former Army SSG Hammond has reported passionately on military and veterans issues. He will continue to do so.

Don is excited to be on the team at WLTZ First News in Columbus, Georgia, in part, because of its proximity to Fort Benning and the support the community provides to the important military mission taking place there.

Don is also glad that several of his army buddies live in the Chattahoochee Valley.

Don is a do-it-yourselfer and most comfortable in his tool-packed truck. He enjoys working on community projects where he can roll up his sleeves and contribute sweat and positive spirit to making life a little better for his neighbors.

If you have a story idea, email it to Don at dhammond@wltz.com.

Articles

Soldier of The Week

Better weapons can help win wars and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant Benjamin Gossett currently serves as a gunsmith for the united states army marksmanship unit at Fort Benning. This soldier who was once in…

Memorial Day Around the Chattahoochee Valley

Memorial day ceremonies on Fort Benning began at the post cemetery promptly at 0900hrs May 27th. Hundreds gathered just inside the Benning road gate at one of the largest post cemeteries in the U.S.…

Soldier of the Week SFC Colon

Some soldiers bring skills to the army before they enlist and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant First Class promotable Christian Colon spent a few years as a diesel mechanic before entering the army back in…

Soldier of The Week SFC Perez

It takes some top NCO’s to train future army officers and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant First Class Jose Perez currently serves as an instructor at Fort Benning’s Army Officer Candidate School. SFC Perez is…

Best Scout Squad Winner

After several days of intense cavalry scout competition at Fort Benning we now know who can call themselves the best scout squad in the military. 5th squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, representing the 82nd Airborne Division has won the fourth biennial…

Soldier of The Week MSG Nania

Fort Benning is home to the U.S. Army Armor School which benefits from troops like the soldier of the week. Master Sergeant Cory Nania is a senior armor NCO. The Master Sergeant currently serves as the chief training developer for…

Soldier of The Week SGM Garner

The Army counts on senior non commissioned officers to lead the way for younger troops and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant Major Troy Garner currently serves as the Operations Sergeant Major for 3rd of the…

Soldier of The Week SSG Coombs

A Fort Benning Army troop with ten years in is recognized as the Soldier of the Week. Staff Sergeant Mark Coombs entered the army as a cavalry scout. He currently serves Uncle Sam as a senior drill sergeant with Echo…

2019 Best Ranger Competition Winners

A team from the 101st airborne division from Fort Campbell, Kentucky earned the title of “Best Rangers” during an awards ceremony at the maneuver center of excellence headquarters today at Fort Benning. Captains John Bergman and Michael Rose of team…

Soldier of The Week, Major Byron Greene

An Army major with a large collection of overseas assignments is the Columbus Rotary Club’s soldier of the week. Major Byron Greene, who hails from California, began his army career as a military police officer in 2004. He’s served as…

Liberty Jump Team Inspires Young Fort Benning Troops

It’s been many years since some members of the Liberty Jump Team, a non profit airborne demonstration group, got ready to jump onto Fort Benning’s Fryar drop zone. Some of these former members of…

Soldier of the Week

It takes a troop with special qualifications to become a military police officer and that is where the soldier of the week comes in. Staff Sergeant Anthony Powers  currently serves in the military police traffic investigation section of the 209th…

Fort Benning Armor Training Facility Construction

You don’t just jump in a tank and take off. It takes some indoor class room time and that’s what construction workers are trying to arrange right now for Armor students on Fort Benning.…

Soldier Of The Week CSM Lewis

Command Sergeant Major Christopher Lewis originally from Foxboro, Massachusetts entered the Army in June 1987 at Fort Benning. After Basic training and airborne school he was assigned to the storied 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Besides Airborne…

Soldier of the Week

He could be the highest ranking soldier of the week the Columbus rotary club has ever honored. Colonel Townley R. Hedrick is the Deputy Commandant of the United States Army Infantry school at Fort Benning. Colonel Hedrick has come up…

Tornado Tree Cleanup Breaks Mans Leg

  Tornado Tree cleanup can be hazardous to your health when things don’t go as planned. First news has learned an Ellerslie, Georgia man suffered a broken leg while working with his neighbor to…

Red Cross Rallies In Support of Tornado Relief

We aren’t forgetting the giant job yet to do in the area hit hard by the deadly tornado outbreak of March 3rd. The Red Cross has delivered more than 8,500 meals and provided essential…

Smiths Station, Alabama Tornado Volunteer Central

The corner of Lee County road  298 and Lee road 430 is Smiths Station Baptist church now a whirlwind of activity  serving tornado victims and volunteers. The all purpose church building has become tornado…

Fort Benning Soldiers See President Trump

It is a major military mission when the Commander in Chief leaves Washington like he did today March 8th, 2019. That’s why officials at the fort worked through the night and into the early…

Columbus Technical College Soldier Surprise

Leaders at Columbus technical college organize a secret military mission to help an army soldier surprise his mother in class. Army Specialist Rudy Holm shocks his mom Denise when he walked into her physics…

Soldier Of The Week

An Army troop with an unusual background has become Soldier of the Week. Army Staff Sergeant Eric Dean initially trained as a combat engineer. Dean went on to become the best of the best in his field by successfully completing…

Dealing With Tornado Damage in Ellerslie, Georgia

Harris County, Georgia residents saw trees toppled like toothpicks when a twister roared through Sunday afternoon March 3rd 2019. There are many trees down and homes damaged along Warm Springs road not far from…

Soldier of the Week

Overseas assignments have helped mold a Fort Benning troop who has become soldier of the week. Staff Sergeant Jonathan Melendez is an instructor at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation known as WHINSEC. Trained as an MP, Melendez has…

Fort Benning Needs More Room To Train Tank Crews

Fort Benning needs some more room to train armor troops in their tanks. Tuesday February 26th 2019 the public had a chance to learn why at a special meeting at the Columbus government center…

Some Fort Benning Soldiers Have Strep Throat

Here is Fort Benning’s Official statement: Fort Benning is aware of the four cases of A Streptococcus also known as Strep with Initial Entry Training Soldiers (IET). These particular cases were complications of Strep infection and should be characterized as…

Let Don Do It In Columbus

Six years after losing her husband Susan can use some help outside her Columbus Home. Large tree limbs were ruining the roof and big rotten trees are lurking in the backyard. I’m trying to…

Soldier Killed in Combat Immortalized on Fort Benning

It’s an uncommon honor for a super soldier killed in the line of duty. Fort Benning’s 3rd Squadron 1st, Security Force Assistance Brigade has named their new headquarters building after a fallen comrade. Building…

Soldier of The Week

Senior NCO’s lead the way training the troops at Fort Benning and that’s where the soldier of the week comes in. Sergeant First Class Morgan Wallace trained as an armor crewman when he first entered the army in 2006. Since…

Soldier Of The Week

The state of Georgia has produced some mighty fine army troops. This time the soldier of the week hails from Savannah, Georgia where he entered the army already armed with some marksmanship skills. Sergeant Anthony Heinauer began his army career…

Columbus Workers Out In The Early Morning Cold

29 Degrees in Columbus early Friday morning did not stop about ten construction workers from getting the job done in Columbus, Georgia. The workers have a project going now right in front of the…

Columbus Sweet Potato King

Columbus, Georgia gardener Willie Cochran really out did himself this time. He puts out a garden most every year at his Columbus home but this time he grew some things which are attracting a…

Let Don Do It

Larry From Lumpkin asked for a little help around his family homestead that had a few issues outside. The front step was rotting and so was some siding caused by water damage. The front…

Flooding at The Chattahoochee Riverwalk in Columbus

The Columbus Riverwalk remained closed this afternoon January 2nd 2019 as the waters of the Chattahoochee River continue to cause minor flooding along parts of the walk. The water is now back down below the flood stage of 27 feet…

Searching For an Armed Robbery Suspect

Columbus police need your help identifying an armed robbery suspect. The robbery happened on December 13-th around 11:30 p-m at the Summit Convenience store at 3809 St. Mary’s road. No injuries are reported. If you know the individual in the…