I have never understood why anyone would say “Happy Memorial Day.” To me, there is nothing at all “happy” about our men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Hard to believe the year has gone by, and it is time once again to honor our fallen at our annual Memorial Day “Laying Of The Wreath” ceremony.
This year’s special guest speaker will be Lieutenant General David L. Mann, Commanding General USASMDC/ARSTRAT. LTG David L. Mann assumed command of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense in August 2013.
He is a Distinguished Military Graduate of Gettysburg College after graduating from Millersville University in 1981. He has served in a variety of command and staff assignments, both in the continental United States and overseas. Most recently, he served as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, KY. Before that he served as the Commanding General, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, a theater-level air and missile defense (AMD) organization responsible for executing global operations in support of the Combatant Commands (COCOMs). Additional command assignments include: Battalion Commander, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY., where elements of the battalion deployed to Kosovo in support of Operation Joint Guardian; Brigade Commander, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps where he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and as the Commanding General, White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
Previous staff assignments include: Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, GA.; Battalion Operations Officer, 1st Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery (BSFV/Stinger), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) where he deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of Joint Task Force 160; Operations Research and Systems Analysis Officer, Directorate of Program Analysis and Evaluation, Pentagon; Aide-de-Camp to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army; Senior Planner with duty on the Operation Enduring Freedom Current Operations Team, the Joint Staff following the events of 9-11; Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Defense Artillery Center, Fort Bliss, TX.; and as the Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, KY.
LTG Mann holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (three oak leaf clusters), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal (oak leaf cluster), Army Achievement Medal (oak leaf cluster), Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Recruiter Badge, and the Joint and Army Staff Identification Badges.
Our program will be held on Monday, May 30th at 11AM at the Limestone County Event Center. This year in addition to our ceremony, we will be providing lunch to our veterans and an opportunity for each of our service organizations to tell everyone what their organization is all about. We sincerely hope you will join us.
For further information call 256-771-7578.
By: Sandra Thompson, Director, Alabama Veterans’ Museum