By Jennifer BacchusNovember 16, 2017
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- In honor of the approximately 675 Veterans employed at Anniston Army Depot, who served through decades of war and peace in each of the different branches of service, the installation hosted a Veterans Day Ceremony Nov. 8 in the Physical Fitness Center.
Lt. Col. Michael Lindley, the commander of DLA Distribution Anniston, Ala., a tenant at ANAD, spoke during the ceremony.
Lindley reminded the crowd gathered of the importance of our nation's fighting force and recognition of those who have served.
"Regardless of which branch of service our Veterans have served in, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, Veterans Day belongs to all Veterans, just as it belongs to the vast generations of patriots who came before," said Lindley.
He also encouraged the crowd to also remember military families.
"They too have served and sacrificed and deserve our thanks and admiration," said Lindley.
Lindley also gave a brief history of Veterans Day - from its beginnings as Armistice Day due to the signing of the armistice to end World War I on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
He also detailed the 200-year history of America's Veterans - individuals who felt called to serve in times of conflict.
Lindley reminded the audience that many of those who serve have a family history of service.
"All these Veterans are what is best about America. In fact, they are the heart and soul of the greatest nation on the planet," said Lindley. "They are some of the most talented, dedicated and innovative professionals in the world."
After their military service, many continue to serve their country and their community, contributing the skills and knowledge gained during their service.
During the ceremony, 36 Vietnam era Veterans were recognized in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
For some, the moment brought back memories, good and bad, of their time overseas and the battle buddies they served beside.
It was also a moment of gratitude - of thanks given to those who sacrificed time with family, who gave of themselves for their country.
Fred Collins remembered those he served with during the presentation.
Collins served 20 years in the Army and three tours in Vietnam.
As part of the 101st Airborne Division, he was in the first wave of troops sent overseas, returning twice before 1970.
For Cecil White, the ceremony was his homecoming.
White, who deployed in the Navy from San Diego, vividly remembers coming home from the war to insults.
He served one tour of duty overseas, serving as a boiler technician and a stretcher bearer - assisting in evacuating members of the military, refugees and dependents from the country.