Co-Lin to honor veterans

Published 12:02 am Monday, November 9, 2009

NATCHEZ — Organizations across the Miss-Lou will honor the area’s veterans Wednesday.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College Natchez will once again play host to the Natchez ceremony to honor those who have served the United States in the military.

The program will begin at 11 a.m. in the campus’ W.L. Nelson Multi-purpose room. Veterans and the public are encouraged to attend.

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Co-Lin Natchez Vice President Teresa Busby said the campus enjoys honoring veterans because many at the school feel a close connection with those who have served.

“We at Co-Lin are all fiercely patriotic,” she said. “Many on our staff are former military and many of our students are former or active military.”

Wednesday’s program will feature keynote speaker Capt. Meckard D. Carter from the Mississippi National Guard.

Co-Lin kicked off their “Salute to Veterans” programs with a flag retirement ceremony at the campus Saturday.

Busby said Co-Lin strives to have an honorable program each year to let veterans know they are appreciated for the work they did.

“It is a special day for so many people,” she said. “We wanted to do something to let them know we think they are special.”

Co-Lin was recently recognized as a “Military Friendly College” by the organization G.I. Jobs.

In conjunction with the Veterans Day program, Co-Lin is also accepting donations to send to active duty military personnel serving overseas and also to distribute to veterans in the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Veterans Medical Center in Jackson.

Items needed to ship overseas include pocket-sized writing pads, pens, pencils, envelopes, small packages of baby wipes, fruit packs and granola bars.

“They are so far from home, and we want them to know we are thinking about them,” Busby said. “Even though they don’t know us, we want them to know we are proud of them.”

Items needed for the Veterans Medical Center are new T-shirts, underwear, socks, Walmart and K-Mart gift cards, writing pads, pens, pencils, envelopes and forever stamps.

“These people, they are all heros,” Busby said. “They don’t always get visitors and all the luxuries. We don’t want them to be forgotten.”

Vidalia High School will also host a Veterans Day program beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the school’s gym.

Bobby Sheppard, chief investigator for the Concordia Parish Sheriffs office, will be the guest speaker. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert storm.

Students and faculty of Vidalia High School will provide entertainment.

Following the program, gifts and refreshments will be available for veterans provided by area businesses and organizations.

Veterans are encouraged to attend.