Meridian Star

November 9, 2013

MCC: Saluting vets, saluting school

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     With the theme of “Honoring Those Who Serve,” Meridian Community College hosted its Veterans Day in the College’s McCain Theater Thursday – a few days before the nation honors its veterans.

    “For freedom to be real, to be valuable, it must be also be backed by something, must be validated by something. And that something is these gentlemen sitting behind me in uniforms – and there are thousands of fellow service men and women stationed in venues around the globe who stand ready to make that ultimate sacrifice to insure our freedom,” said MCC President Dr. Scott Elliott as he addressed the audience.

    Guest speakers, Lt. Leon M. Leflore and Lt. Col. Mark S. Kleinpeter, echoed the sentiments. “We pray, reflect, honor and celebrate those who serve… we recognize heroes from past and present,” said LeFlore. “We should celebrate veterans not only today but every day," he added. LeFlore, a native of Crystal Springs, is currently the Naval Air Station Meridian Administration Officer.

    Kleinpeter, commander for the 238 Air Support Operations Squadron, Mississippi Air National Guard, said, “we’re very blessed in this state for people to recognize veterans … for serving in the military.” He especially encouraged members of the audience to talk to veterans of World War II.

    With the presentation of colors by the Northeast High School Junior ROTC and the musical selections by a quartet of the MCC Chorus, under the direction of Twyla Hurst and Tammy Miles, the MCC Gospel Choir, under the direction of Deborah Nettles and Ardra Govan, and Mitch Brantley, MCC guitar instructor, the program also spotlighted the MCC veterans.

    In addition, it was announced that a world-wide distributed magazine has tapped MCC again as a Military Friendly School - an honor that salutes the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace American veterans.

    G.I. Jobs magazine, one of the country’s top 10 publishers for military information, tapped MCC for this recognition for the College’s commitment to playing an active role in supporting the educational needs of veterans and active-duty military and their families.

    The magazine serves as a tool designed to help veterans transition back into civilian life.

    The plaque includes the sentence: “Your steadfast commitment to educating our great nation’s military veterans will enable the United States to prosper for generations to come.”