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Air Force Lt. Col. Rebecca A. Gray

North Georgia Veterans commemorate Veterans Day

By Laura Link This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Veterans Day observance Saturday, Nov. 11 in The Big Canoe Chapel was not the usual fare.

The commemorative event filled with music by the North Georgia Veterans Chorus, the flag presentation made by the local scout troops but that’s where the men’s part ended.

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The program became one of humor and female vets highlighted by Air Force Lt. Col. Rebecca A. Gray, speaker and athlete, who was a three-time all American talent in springboard diving while attending the United States Air Force Academy

In introducing Col. Gray, Pat Bodelson, president of the North Georgia Veterans, had to also disclose his once diving talents in a Speedo which, when the company saw his pictures on the diving board, according to him, asked him not to ever wear a Speedo again. “Too much had shifted below.”

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Speaking without notes, Gray said every veteran has a story to tell about the reason they joined the military. She related the way her father joined the marine corps was when he asked a pretty girl for a date, she told him she wouldn’t date him because he wasn’t a marine. “The next day he joined the marine corps,” Gray told the audience. Because of her diving talents she was recruited by big name colleges across the country such as Notre Dame, but the United States Air Force Academy appealed to the California native’s interest with their offer.

“We are linked together as veterans for life no matter our rank. This day is for us—those of us who are here today,” she concluded.

Twelve female veterans from four states from the Women Veteran Social Justice Network on their third annual retreat to Big Canoe joined in the observance. They presented Col. Gray with their challenge coin as part of the program.

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The Sequoyah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) provided a
patriotic wreath for Veterans Day. The wreath will be placed at the Veterans Memorial on
Lake Petit. The DAR, founded in 1890, is a non-profit, non-political women’s service
organization dedicated to preserving patriotism, historic preservation and education.
PHOTO BY JIM FRANCIS

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