The 17th Annual Jackson County Veterans Day Program will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., at the Veterans Memorial Monument located in downtown Moss Point. This is open to all citizens, churches, organizations, businesses, youth groups and the public at large, to participate in this annual program, honoring Jackson County’s veterans past and present. All are invited to join for free food and displays on the lawn next to the monument following the program.
This year’s Keynote Speaker is Chaplain, Captain Torrey M. Garrison, an IMA Chaplain currently serving at 81st Training Wing, Keesler Air Base, in Mississippi. In this capacity he promotes the free exercise of religion for more than 3,000 students and 1000 active duty personnel and their dependents. His primary responsibilities include planning and execution of unit ministry for the Keesler Medical Group.
Chaplain Garrison is a native of Northport, Alabama. He originally entered active duty in August 1993 in the United States Coast Guard where he served 5 years. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant, Chaplain in the Air Force Reserve, June 2013. He is endorsed by CB America.
His background in education includes the following: (2000) Associate in Applied Science, Occupational Health and Safety, Faulkner State Community College; (2004) Bachelor of Science, Occupational Safety, Columbia Southern University, Orange Beach, Alabama; (2010) Masters of Theological Studies, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA; an (2012) Masters of Divinity, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.
His assignments include: (June 2013 – January 2015) IMA Staff Chaplain, Hurlburt Field, Florida and (January 2015 – Present) IMA Staff Chaplain, Keesler AFB, Mississippi. His major awards and decorations include: Coast Guard Letter of Commendation; Department of Transportation Outstanding Unit Award; Coast Guard Unit Commendation Award; National Defense Service Award; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; and Coast Guard Sea Service Award. His effective dates of promotion include First Lieutenant in June 2013 and Captain in August 2015.
This year’s Jackson County Veterans Day Program will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a welcome by the Master of Ceremonies, Carla Todd Voda, IOM, President and CEO of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Following it will be the Presentation of Colors by the Moss Point High School NJROTC, National Anthem sung by Dr. Kimberly Cox Rasmussen, Pledge of Allegiance by Amy Brandenstein (Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce), welcome by Mayor Mario King of Moss Point and an invocation led by Mrs. Victoria Todd (veteran). Armed Forces songs will be played by Mr. Bob Hand and Mr. Tom Browning of Magnolia Classic Cruisers. The POW/MIA ceremony will be led by Mr. Mitch Ellerby of American Legion Post #243 and Past Commander of VFW Post #10024 and Mr. Robert Cunningham of American Legion Post #243. There will be a Presentation of the Wreath for the Fallen by Mr. Ellerby and Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Jerold Shepherd of the Moss Point Rotary Club will recognize the following fallen soldiers: Major Michael Green, United States Army; Master Sergeant Scott E. Pruitt, United States Marine Corps; Master Sergeant Coater DeBose, United States Army; Sergeant First Class Sean M. Cooley, United States Army; and Sergeant Terrance D. Lee, Sr., United States Army. The Keynote Speaker is Chaplain, Captain Torrey M. Garrison of the United States Air Force. Following his speech will be the benediction by Mrs. Victoria Todd. Before the conclusion of the ceremony there will be the Military Gun Salute and Taps by American Legion Post #160. Music for this event will be provided by the Moss Point High School Jazz Band.
The Veterans Committee, planning the event, is encouraging residents of Jackson County to attend the program, bring their American flags to wave and show their support for the veterans of all wars and the active duty personnel serving along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
To volunteer in this year’s Jackson County Veterans Day Program, call Linda Johnson at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email JohnsonL@jcchamber.com.