Music, performances and speeches will mark the community's annual salute to military veterans.
American Legion Post 75 Mineral Wells ISD will once again host the Veterans Day of Remembrance Program on Friday morning at Ram Stadium. This year's event pays special tribute to the 100th anniversary of the treaty signing that ended World War I.
Veterans Day is Sunday, Nov. 11.
Hundreds of flag-waving Mineral Wells ISD students, special guests, local and area veterans and others are expected to attend the free public ceremony that begins at 10:30 a.m. with a musical prelude by the Mineral Wells High School band, followed by the program at 11 a.m., which will kick off with a flyover by a replica RV-8 aircraft by Rod Linde and Fred Jackson.
The traditional American Legion Post 75 canon salute will be followed by opening remarks from Mineral Wells native Lt. Col. Lee Evans, U.S. Army retired, who now serves as assistant commandant of Tarleton State University’s Corps of Cadets.
Civil Air Patrol TX-087 is scheduled to present the colors. Following introductions of special guests and recognition of veterans by their branch of service will be special performances by MWISD performance groups:
• Travis Elementary School Cadets will sing “Let’s Make Music America," directed by Cody Jordan.
• The Lamar Elementary School Little Troopers drill team will perform under the direction of Heather Teichmann.
• Avary Vaughn will direct the Mineral Wells Junior High School Choir's performance of “My America.”
• Houston Elementary School's Stomp Team will perform a number under the direction of Julie Souders and Michael Hein.
• The Mineral Wells High School Choir will sing “God Bless America” under the direction of Jeanne Baker.
• The Mineral Wells High School Wranglerettes Drill Team will perform under the direction of Helen Bull.
This year's special guest speaker is Col. Kenny Weldon, U.S. Air Force retired, and currently serving as the Senior Director of Strategic Studies and Commandant of the Texan Corps of Cadets at Tarleton State University.
Col. Weldon retired from active duty military service following more than 26 years as an Air Force civil engineer officer, where he led and commanded multi-functional organizations in support of worldwide military operations. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and Legion of Merit.
Following his military career, he was elected mayor of the City of Stephenville and served three terms. He currently serves on several regional and local boards, including the Brazos Region G Water Planning Group; Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas; the Cross Timbers Fellowship of Christian Athletes; and is a Deacon at First Baptist Church of Stephenville.
Col. Weldon is a graduate of Stephenville High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a Master of Science in Engineering and Environmental Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National War College.
He and his wife, Carrie, who is originally from Dalhart, have two grown children: Kyle, married to Allison, lives in Fort Worth, and his twin sister, Kayla, lives in Stephenville.
Col. Weldon has ties to Mineral Wells in that his grandfather was from here and said he looks forward to being with the community and school students at Ram Stadium on Friday.
Ike Mercer will once again perform the song "God Bless the USA" with the MWHS Student Council's traditional balloon launch to close out the event. There will be a dove release by Cathren O'Neal.
The public is invited to attend this traditional ceremony to honor veterans.