DeSoto County Supervisors were honored to be a part of this year's “Honor our Troops Classic” program. We can never fully repay the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Supervisor Jessie Medlin was one of the guest speakers. “When I see all those flags that lined the street leading to this event, it sends chills down my back. I am proud of this Country. And I am proud of you men and women who made it possible,” said Supervisor Medlin.
The program honored all Veterans, First Responders, and Gold Star families. During a Presentation of Flags, six veterans received flags including WWII veteran, Olin Pickens. Pickens was a Prisoner of War for 26 months. He escaped and was recaptured. Mr. Pickens will turn 100 on December 31st. “We are forever indebted to those who have served our country in uniform and the sacrifices they, and their families, make to ensure our freedom,” said Supervisor Michael Lee.
DeSoto County was honored to be designated as a Purple Heart County. The Purple Heart is awarded to Combat Wounded service members and veterans. “DeSoto County is home to many military families and veterans, including my own,” said Supervisor Lee Caldwell. “Becoming a Purple Heart County reconfirms our commitment to honor those who have served in defense of our freedoms.”
Last night’s event also featured an Empty Chair Ceremony to honor fallen service members. “I am often called to play Taps during a military funeral,” said Supervisor Mark Gardner. “I am always inspired by their sacrifice, bravery, and unwavering commitment to our Country.”
Money raised by the two-day event benefits a number of organizations including; the Walter Reed Society, The Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Patriot Guard Riders. “Organizations play a vital role in supporting our veterans by helping alleviate some of their struggles,” said Supervisor Ray Denison.