Flash Staff Report
ERATH COUNTY (November 4, 2016) – On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, Germany signed an armistice, formally ending World War I.
At about the same time almost 100 years later, proud Americans will gather outside the Erath County Courthouse to honor the brave men and women who have served in the United States military.
Turnbow-Higgs American Legion Post 240 hosts its 95th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 11.
James Bell, 2001 Hico High School graduate and Stephenville resident, will serve as guest speaker.
Bell is a veteran. His service in United States Marine Corps started days after he received his high school diploma. Four days before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he graduated from basic training.
Following an assignment in Southeast Asia, Bell’s reconnaissance unit was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. He was stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, during the takeover of the city.
Special Operations. Raids. Sniper missions. His service, which also included support operations in Afghanistan, made his life that of the quintessential Marine.
The war hero whose honors include multiple Purple Heart awards transitioned from life on the line in the Gulf War Era into civilian through continued service with the Army National Guard.
Bell married Loren Shipman of Huckabay on Veteran’s Day 2006. They are both graduates of Tarleton State University, where Bell was president of the university’s Veterans Organization for some time. The couple has three children.
The November 11 ceremony will also include the posting and retiring of the colors and rifle salute by Tarleton ROTC Color Guard.
Post 240 Commander Burton Smith will serve as master of ceremonies, and Chaplain Leroy Griffin will deliver the invocation.
As a solemn tribute to the brave soldiers who are no longer living, Auxiliary Unit 240 President Johnnie Ratliff will perform the laying the wreath. Taps will also be played.
The public is encouraged to attend the event.