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Honor veterans at PCMS Friday

Members of the Military History Club at Pike County Middle School will again bring the school and community together for their annual Veterans Day event Friday, Nov. 2 starting at 9:30 a.m. Col. Brent Bracewell will be the guest speaker for the event as he shares the importance of the U.S. military and honoring veterans. Col. Bracewell is the director of the Joint Staff of the Georgia National Guard and has more than 25 years of active duty, having served in Desert Storm, Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom. ’It’s our honor every year to pause and think about what has been done for us,’ said organizer Todd Child. ‘These students represent the promise of the future but it’s imperative they know the actions of the past.’ Students and community members can see military memorabilia and speak with the soldiers, airmen, seamen and Marines who lived through that part of America’s military history. Several re-enactors and many military vehicles will be on display outside the middle school. The Georgia Vietnam Memorial Wall and Georgia Iraq Memorial Wall will display the names of Georgia veterans who died during their service. ’Every person is important. Every soldier has his place,’ said Ranger Hall of Famer Bill Spies who was awarded two Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, the Meritorious Service Award, Army Commendation Medal and Master Parachuter badge during his 22 years in the military. He was last year’s featured speaker. ’Make sure you know your station in life,’ he said. ‘Learn from history.’ The Pike County Soldier of the Year and Veteran of the Year will be honored during the PCMS Veterans Day event. At the close of the ceremony each year, students stand and give a civilian salute to the veterans present. ’This means a lot to us to see these kids learning about patriotism,’ said Col. Paul Longgrear, a specialist on counterterrorism who earned three Purple Hearts and Silver and Bronze Stars for Valor who attended last year’s event.

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