Cleveland High School faculty member John Hunter, a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was the guest speaker at Cleveland High School’s annual Veterans Day program.
A number of Cleveland and Bradley County veterans attended the activities, and CHS students unfolded a huge U.S. flag across the gymnasium floor, in front of the speakers’ podium.
Hunter told the students everyone is called on (at some time) to help protect and preserve the American way of life. He said many join the U.S. military as a way to serve.
Other Veterans Day programs were held at Wellington Place Assisted Living, and Lifecare Centers of America.
The Lifecare event was a breakfast for facility residents, especially for its veterans.
State Rep. Eric Watson was on hand to presented a special book and medal to Lifecare resident Gloria Martin. Martin was a U.S. Army medic during the Korean War.
Lifecare president, and former journalist, Beecher Hunter said a few words of appreciation to the veterans and visitors.
Later in the day, former prisoner of war Bill Norwood and the VFW Color Guard were among participants at a Veterans Day program at Wellington Place Assisted Living.
This year’s Wellington Place program was a tribute to resident Alvin Paul Brock.
Brock was born Jan. 29, 1925, in McDonald, the third of eight children.
Affectionately called “Buddy” by his family and friends, Brock grew up with a love of trains. His mother was the postmistress of McDonald during the time he was growing up.
Brock enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17, serving his country faithfully in active service and later as a reservist.
He and his wife were married at the end of World War II, in 1946, and they raised a son and daughter in Cleveland.
Shortly after completing active duty with the Marine Corps, he worked for DuPont in Chattanooga as an electrician, retiring in 1977. After his retirement, he became involved with the Southern Steam program and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
This was a dream come true considering his lifetime love of trains and the railroad industry.
Brock was the head engineer at the museum until he had to slow down with back problems and surgery two years ago.
Other veterans at Wellington Place include Al Hoffman, Earl Hickey, Heinrich Dickhut, Roland McDaniel, Walter Cummings, James Duncan, Bill Pritchett and Bill Madewell.
A special tribute was paid to veterans at the end of the Wellington program. It goes:
“It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran who salutes the flag, who served under the flag.
Because of you, we are free!”