VALDOSTA – Major Arthur Lee Graham III is coming home to be promoted to a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps.
The ceremony is scheduled for noon Saturday, Dec. 4, with a drive-through parade followed by the promotion ceremony and concluding with a community reception at the Southside Recreation Center, 604 S. Oak St.
Graham grew up on the southside of Valdosta and attended Southside Recreation Center, said Rachel Bradley, Southside Rec executive director. He attended Valdosta City Schools and played junior varsity and varsity basketball.
After graduating from Valdosta High School in 1997, Graham joined the Marine Corps.
Graham is stationed in Norfork, Virginia, he has chosen to have his promotion ceremony in Valdosta where "he believes he was given the tools that shaped his life," Bradley said.
Graham said he credits Southside Rec, Oliver Bradley, then director of Southside Rec, and the older members of the community with inspiring the choices that has led to his successes.
His decision to recognize the community center where he grew up is a testimony to youth programs everywhere and hopefully it will be a motivation to youth everywhere proving that "it doesn't matter where you come from, it is where you decide to go," Graham said.
The public is invited to the ceremony.