GFWC Sedley Woman’s Club thank veterans

Published 9:33 pm Friday, July 11, 2014

Kathy Brown sings the National Anthem during the posting of colors. Photo by Frank Davis.

Kathy Brown sings the National Anthem during the posting of colors. Photo by Frank Davis.

SEDLEY—As the nation celebrated the 4th of July, what better way is there to start the day than to hold a special thank-you program for veterans that have served or are serving in the armed forces. The Sedley Baptist Church fellowship hall was packed to capacity on the Fourth as the Sedley Woman’s Club continued this tradition that they started in 2001. Since the program has started, 21 known veterans that have attended this program annually have been called from labor to rest.

Among the many veterans present was one active duty serviceman, MMCS (SW) Sean Protzman and his family. Protzman, proudly wearing his Navy uniform, is stationed at the Norfolk Naval Base and has served for 17 years.

Anne Bryant served as the master of ceremony for this program. The Rev. Jim Foreman, pastor of the Sedley Baptist Church, gave the opening prayer followed by the presentation of colors by the American Legion Post No. 73 Color Guard. Wendy Foreman presented a series of solo selections of patriotic music to inspire the audience.

Retired United States Air Force Master Sergeant Kathy Brown was the keynote speaker for the program. She related to the group about her years in the Air Force and the many things that she learned. She enlisted shortly after the Vietnam War had ended and that made it easier for her because there was no war going on.

Brown said, “I enlisted to get away from where I was and to find something else for my life.”

Her plan was for four years and go home. But that did not happen, she married another Air Force airman, Jeffery Brown, and afterward, 20 years went by in a flash and in those 20 years she added that she did learn to love her country.

“I did learn what honor and integrity was,” Brown said. “We enjoy freedom today because many men and woman have had to fight for that freedom. From the very beginning we have had to fight for this country, and some may say and criticize today the fact that we are fighting wars today in countries where we shouldn’t be. But really when you think about it, if we do not fight them there, we may have to fight them here and I, for one, would rather not have to fight them here.”

Brown ended her address in talking about the importance of the United States flag and by extending a thank-you to all veterans that have served and are presently serving today.

After the address, Bryant conducted recognition of branches of military service period in which individuals were asked to stand as the song of their branch was played. This was followed by a candle-lighting ceremony in honor of deceased service men and women was conducted by Glenn Riggs, pastor of Oxford United Methodist Church, Suffolk.