MCC Veterans Program salutes campus and community vets

LaQuita Chambers, Cmdr. Karen Teague and Tulsa Kirk.
Posing for a photo opportunity after the MCC Veterans Day Program are LaQuita Chambers, left, Cmdr. Karen Teague and Tulsa Kirk. Chambers is a U.S. Air Force Reserve captain and a health education advisor at MCC. Kirk is a retired gunnery sergeant and an MCC VA student. 

Meridian Community College honored veterans – both those on campus and in the community – a day before the traditional tributes were to be held. 

"We’re grateful for the opportunity to take one hour of one day out of the year to say thank you," said MCC President Dr. Tom Huebner as he addressed the Graham Gymnasium audience attending the College's Veterans Day Program 2022. 

Many in the audience were faculty, staff, and students who are also veterans; community residents who are veterans were also saluted. 

Weaving the theme of honor, keynote speaker Cmdr. Karen J. Teague, NAS Meridian's Naval Technical Training Center commanding officer, said there is a distinct honor in serving to protect our country's way of life and upholding the Constitution of the United States. 

Cmdr. Teague said Veterans Day offers the opportunity to remember to reflect on what it means to be a patriot and to reflect on both the costs and the blessing of liberty. "There can be no doubt that America's fighting men and women have given much to ensure that our great nation stays free. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who served, to all those injured, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice," she said. 

She also honored family members of veterans, asking them to stand and be recognized for their contributions and sacrifices. 

As a part of the ceremony, the Meridian Naval Air Station Color Guard presented the colors; Tulsa Kirk, an MCC veteran and a retired gunnery sergeant, led the pledge of allegiance; Laquita Chambers, health education advisor and captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, offered the invocation; and C.D. Smith, MCC Board of Trustees member and a veteran, introduced speaker Teague. 

Before the program's closing, MCC Director of Financial Aid Whitney Stevens shared with the audience that the College has been named a Military Friendly School.