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Education retirees enjoy Honor A Veteran program

The Franklin County Education Retirees Association’s November meeting program, Honor A Veteran, was presented by Master Sgt. Jamie Oliver.

Oliver has served 27 years in the military, starting with the 115th Signal Battalion in Russellville. He acknowledged Retired Maj. Gen. Troy Oliver, who encouraged him to choose the military as his career – and he said he has never regretted his choice.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Veterans Day as “Armistice Day” Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. 

Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans – living or dead – but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

The first celebration using the term Veterans Day occurred in Birmingham in 1947. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized “National Veterans Day,” which included a parade and other festivities, to honor all veterans.

Master Sgt. Oliver closed with a Veterans Day Speech.

Sheryl Plott, Franklin County Courthouse Community Corrections, performed two beautiful patriotic songs: “Freedom is Never Free” and “God Bless America.”

Another guest speaker was Melba Wiegard, district director of the Alabama Educator Retirees Association. She brought greetings from AERA and gave an update on the changes to the United Health Care insurance for retirees.

Ms. Wiegard reminded everyone to vote in the AERA officers election in January. She gave the date for the AERA Advocacy Training that will be held in Cullman: Feb. 17, 2023.

At the AERA 2022 Annual Meeting, she reported that a $13,000 check was presented to Richard Deem, who represented the State Food Banks.  AERA will continue to host the statewide community service initiative, Help Feed Alabama. Money collected from the local units will continue to go to their area food bank directly.   

The FCERA donated $100 for the State Food Banks in north Alabama.

In the FCERA business session, Elizabeth Daniel presented the FCERA Committee’s Community Service Project for approval: Coalition for the Homeless. A list of items for survival backpacks for the homeless was given to each attendee.

Following discussion, the members approved this project to support the homeless.

President Sandy Gibson called the meeting to order. Nancy Cooper presented the devotion for the 32 members attending.

A delicious luncheon was provided by the Alabama Central Credit Union.

Faye Swinney, secretary, read the minutes from the October meeting, and Judy Baker presented the treasurer’s report.

The meeting closed with the drawing of door prizes.


Susie Hovater Malone is a regular columnist for the Franklin County Times. 

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