The Valdosta Daily Times
The Purple Heart has long been a symbol of honor and service for those men and women that serve in the United States Armed Forces.
For many years, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College has served the needs of area service men and women through outreach programs, clubs and associations. Serving more than 250 student veterans on its campuses, Wiregrass continues to be one of the leading institutions serving our military personnel.
On Thursday afternoon, Wiregrass was recognized for its dedication to military students by being named the first Purple Heart Technical College in the United States.
“We are delighted to see that our veterans are being taken care of and we know that Wiregrass will treat them well. They know that when they come here they are going to be around others who have lived through the things they have lived through. Wiregrass has been named a military-friendly school for four years, and when our veterans come here they will know that they will be treated well,” said Doug Middleton, state commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart.
During the presentation, Dr. Ron O’Meara, vice president of academic affairs, read the proclamation naming Wiregrass as a Purple Heart Technical College.
The proclamation states, “The mission of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is to foster the environment of goodwill among the combat wounded veteran members and their families, promote patriotism, support those initiatives and mostly to make sure that we never forget. Wiregrass is in the proximity of the military order of the Purple Heart Chapter 1000 and has been named the coveted Military Friendly Schools for four years, thus honoring them as being in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses and students to ensure their success on campus.”
It concluded with Dr. Tina Anderson, Wiregrass president, proclaiming, “Now, therefore, I, Dr. Tina Anderson, do hereby proudly proclaim our honor to be recognized as the first Purple Heart Technical College in the United States of America and the State of Georgia.”
Following the reading of the proclamation, the Military Order of the Purple Heart presented awards to each of the Wiregrass military outreach personnel, including the Student Veterans Association advisors, campus coordinators and many others. Those honored included Anderson; Margaret Brogdon, Wiregrass’ Moody Air Force Base Satellite Campus coordinator; Christine Sherling, Instructor and Wiregrass SVA faculty advisor; O’Meara; Kelley Wetherington, Campus Life coordinator; Lisa Howell, Campus Life coordinator; Mark Pack, criminal justice instructor and SVA advisor; and Jacque Chandler, Student Success Center testing specialist and SVA advisor.
Each Wiregrass campus also received plaques. The presentation concluded with Middleton and Brogdon both sharing their thanks to those military service men and women present.
Joined by applause from the crowd, Brogdon concluded saying, “Thank you for your service.”