This week, organizers of The Wall That Heals were informed Dr. Jerry Davis, president of College of the Ozarks will be joining keynote speaker Governor Mike Parson on the podium during the honors ceremony event to be held in Ava in September. Both speakers plan to attend the ceremony, and will be available at The Wall to meet and greet veterans, visitors and groups, as security protocol will permit.
Both Governor Parson and Dr. Davis are outspoken in their support of veterans, as well as those who serve in the military and their family members.
Gov. Mike Parson, a third-generation farmer, served two tours in the military police in Germany and Hawaii, for the U. S. Army. He also served as sheriff of Polk County for 12 years.
Having served eleven years in the Missouri General Assembly before being elected lieutenant governor in 2016, Parson is now the 57th governor of Missouri.
At College of the Ozarks, Dr. Jerry Davis has been instrumental in recognizing veterans in patriot tributes, with the construction of the Missouri Vietnam Memorial, and the Lest We Forget 9/11 Memorial. In Patriots Park at the entrance to the campus, the college built, under Davis’ leadership, the Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial to honor Missourians who have lost an immediate family member to military service.
Davis has served as a civilian trustee of the Marine Military Academy and has been a featured speaker at the United States Air Force Academy, and United States Military Academy at West Point
Nearly ten years ago, Davis established the Patriotic Education Travel Program at the College of the Ozarks. The program pairs students with war veterans for trips to revisit battlefields and sites where the veteran once fought.
Both are keynote speakers for the honors ceremony.
Organizers are also hosting a meeting for those who are interested in working or helping as a volunteer at the site. The meeting is Tuesday, August 28, 6 p.m. at the Douglas County Veteran Memorial Assn. building, near the Ava Post Office. The meeting is for anyone interested in volunteering for the event.
More event details may be found in this edition of the paper.