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South High honors veterans

Rick Wagner • Nov 11, 2017 at 3:00 PM

KINGSPORT — Sullivan South High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps put on an almost 90-minute Veterans Day program Friday, an event that included Army veteran U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-1st) in the audience.

More than 30 veterans were recognized during the program.

Veterans group members from the Korean War and Vietnam War were among those attending, as were Sullivan County Commissioners Angie Stanley and Baxter Hood and Board of Education Chairman Michael Hughes and member Jane Thomas.

Ernie Rumsby, president of the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council (TMAC), said veterans appreciate the event, which paid homage to those who served in all branches of service and all war efforts as well as to the American flag.

Music was provided by the South Rebel Band and Advanced Women’s Choir as well as country music performer and songwriter Austin Moody, who graduated from the school but returned Friday to sing three songs. 

Theatrical presentations included a Table of Honor for those missing in action.

Other performances were on Iwo Jima, a World War II battle where Marines took the Japanese island with great losses; Angel Flight, the nickname of the Texas-based plane and crew that bring home deceased soliders, about which Moody performed a song; “Mike’s Flag,” about a Vietnam prisoner of war who fashioned a makeshift American flag, was punished and tortured when his captors found it but went to work right away making another;  “More Than a Name on a Wall,” about the Vietnam Memorial; “Arlington/Changing of the Guard,” about which Moody sang; “Ragged Old Flag,” accompanied by a Johnny Cash recording; taps; and a return to the Table of Honor at the end.

The event honored the Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Army and Marines.

South football coach Eric Rowe, a veteran, led the other veterans in a recitation of their oath of office.

The Veterans Day ceremony at the Kingsport Veterans Memorial near Dobyns-Bennett High School starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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