LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Debra Whitley, 17, a senior at Natchez High School, gives a thumbs up to the crowd as she is announced as an Outstanding Citizen Tuesday afternoon at the DAR luncheon at the Carriage House. Whitley was one of six local high school students to receive the award.

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Six students honored as DAR outstanding citizens

Published 12:04am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NATCHEZ — Six area high school seniors were honored Tuesday by the Daughters of the American Revolution for their good citizenship and community service.

Kevin Campbell of Adams County Christian School, Daniel Dunaway of Trinity High School, Marty Ellard of Cathedral High School, Jocelyn Minor of Wilkinson County High School, Debra Whitley of Natchez High School and Cal Wilkerson of Wilkinson County Christian Academy were named DAR’s Good Citizens for 2011 at a luncheon hosted by the Natchez and William Dunbar DAR chapters.

The winners were chosen by the senior class at their schools. The awards are given each year to seniors who display leadership, community service, dependability and patriotism.

Major Deidre Musgrave was also at the luncheon to share her experience in the military since she received a DAR scholarship and attended Marion Military College in Alabama in 1995.

Musgrave is a highly decorated officer and has served in a variety of command and staff positions for the U.S. Army all over the world, including Europe and Afghanistan. Musgrave said it was by the grace of God that she traveled the world with the Army and ended up back in her hometown of Hattiesburg.

“You truly end up where you’re supposed to be,” she said.

Musgrave now serves as Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center’s Public Affairs officer. She said Mississippi is playing a vital role in the country’s national defense at Camp Shelby through its overseas contingency operations.

Camp Shelby, Musgrave said, has mobilized and demobilized 171,000 troops for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She said Camp Shelby has a variety of training operations for all branches of the military on the 120,000 acres Camp Shelby uses for training.

“The troops are getting realistic, real life training at our state-of-the-art facilities,” she said.

Musgrave said her military journey all around the world and back to Mississippi has been a great ride. She said receiving a DAR scholarship truly made a difference in her life.

“The scholarships do help, and they do make a difference,” she said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”