The 20th Annual Veterans Day Program hosted by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce proved that even a pandemic couldn’t hold back the appreciation this community has for its military men and women.
This year’s event was held at Pelican Landing in Moss Point. It brought together service men and women from across Jackson County, including keynote speaker, Christy Wheeler, Retired Commanding Officer of the United States Navy.
The moving ceremony honored and remembered numerous veterans from almost every conflict since World War II.
Please take a moment to browse through the photo gallery below, then scroll down further for the bio of this year’s keynote speaker.
Retired Commanding Officer Christy Wheeler
Commander Christy Wheeler is an Air Force dependent, with overseas tours in Morocco and Spain. Commander Wheeler served on active duty in the United States Navy. Her military career spanned 20 years, culminating in being named Commanding Officer of Naval Station Pascagoula. After retirement, Commander Wheeler returned to Mississippi to serve as a caregiver to her father-in-law. She later accepted a position as Executive Director of the United Way for Jackson and George Counties. After great success fundraising for the United Way, she became City Manager for the City of Gautier just in time for Hurricane Katrina. She excelled in the operational needs of the city’s emergency response and recovery efforts. She is now happily retired again.
Commander Wheeler attended high school and junior college in St. Petersburg, FL. She earned a B.A. in Education from the University of South Florida and later pursued her Master’s Degree in Education Administration from the University of West Florida.
She began volunteering with the League of Women Voters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast six years ago, assisting with high school voter registration. That transitioned into membership and becoming the VP for Voter Services, then President. She is now Co-President for the State League of Women Voters of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Commander Wheeler taught school for 7 years in Florida and was an educational consultant for the Florida Department of Education for several years. She is married to Nick Richards, CAPT USN-Ret and they have three adult children, Larinna Richards-Cothren, Rhiannon Richards, and Dell Lopez.