MCC program pays tribute to those who serve

Veterans, both on and off the Meridian Community College campus, were saluted Thursday and in turn, the College was recognized for its support of veterans during a program that paid tribute to the men and women defending the country.

MCC hosted its annual veterans’ tribute three days before the nation’s observance honoring all who served. “We’re thankful that you are here, but most importantly we’re thankful for our veterans,” said MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner as he addressed students, faculty, staff and community residents who joined in the program.

Among the community residents honored, Meridianite Bill Harrison, 94, was saluted for his World War II service. After the war ended and leaving the service, Harrison said he missed the comradery and fellowship, so he returned to service and served 20 additional years. Purple Heart recipient First Sgt. Antonio Marques, who serves as a senior enlisted leader for NAS Meridian’s Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron One and who was the keynote speaker, reminded the audience members, “a veteran’s service has no expiration date.”

The College was recognized for the third consecutive year as a top school in 2018 by Military and Advanced Education and Transition Magazine and for the ninth year, MCC has earned the distinction as a Military Friendly School among all U.S. colleges and universities worldwide.

The MAE&T Guide provides direction with higher education choices to soldiers and families. The Military Friendly School guide is a comprehensive research tool used by service members, educational service offices and transition officers preparing soldiers and their families for civilian life,” said Dr. Angela Payne, MCC director of admissions.

The distinctions provide an opportunity to showcase MCC as a top provider of military and veterans support services among its higher education peers, she added.

“At MCC, we appreciate that today’s military is tomorrow’s veteran and we stand committed to serving military-attached students while and after they serve,” Payne said.

Photo: Meridian Community College President Dr. Thomas Huebner, left, talks with World War II veteran Bill Harrison and C.D. Smith, a retired Mississippi Air National Guardsman.