Johnny Surles, a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, spoke about the history of Veterans Day on campus Nov. 11.
Surles commended service members and their families for their contribution to America’s freedom.
“Forty-nine million individuals have served in the military.” Surles said.
“Every veteran has earned the permanent gratitude of this country.
“The service all comes down to the character of those who fly the planes, man the ships, and carry the rifles,” Surles said.
“The families of those who have served and who are currently serving have also sacrificed.”
Surles said he is a native Oklahoman, born in Lawton, who served in the Vietnam War.
About 30 individuals, including OCCC staff, faculty and students, gathered in the College Union to remember those who have served and who are currently serving in the military.
Joyce Morgan-Dees, OCCC’s senior research analyst, welcomed everyone and introduced OCCC student John Adams, who spent 20 years in the military.
He is studying to be a registered nurse, while also serving in the Army Reserve at Tinker Air Force Base. Adams gave the student reflection during the ceremony.
Adams said he was born in Louisiana where he attended a community college before earning his bachelor’s degree in anthropology at the University of Texas. Adams said he has a strong interest in special operations.
“When I was a boy I remember watching the names of missing-in-action and dead soldiers on the evening news,” Adams said. He said members of the different branches of service are all on the same team, even if they wear different uniforms.
Candice Parker, a sophomore vocal music major at OCCC, sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”
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