The community is invited to honor veterans Nov. 6 at the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Assocation’s annual Patriots Day luncheon at Convention Hall.
The luncheon will feature the induction of nominees into the Patriots Hall of Honor, guest speaker retired Command Sergeant Major Leon Caffie, and after the luncheon, the 2 p.m. ribbon-cutting at the Patriots Museum at the Ola Lee Mize Patriots Park adjacent to Noccalula Falls.
Tickets cost $10 and still are available at The Chamber, at the Greater Gadsden Tourism Board, and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Gadsden Etowah Patriots Association office at the Mort Glosser Amphitheatre, at the door on the day of the event or from a member of the patriots association.
Doors open and lunch will be served at 11 a.m. The program will start at 11:45 a.m.
Each year inductees are selected by the association’s selection committee. Inductees do not have to be veterans of military service. The committee considers a nominees work in the community as well as the person’s military service. This year 11 honorees will be inducted, including World War II veterans Ed and Alice Carrell, Navy and WAVES; James G. Morgan, Marines; Verlus “Buddy” Holliday, Navy; James L. “Jim” Foreman, Army Air Corps; James E. Walker, Army. Other inductees are Kay Moore, Downtown Gadsden Inc. Director; John R. Tinker, Alabama National Guard, Florida Army Reserve and U.S. Army; and Terry Collier, Army. Posthumous inductees are William Ray Ingleheart, Air Force; and James B. “J.B.” Williams, Army.
Guest speaker Caffie spoke during a Memorial Day event at Patriots Park and many in attendance requested a return engagement.
Caffie was selected by to become the 10th Command Sergeant Major of the United States Army Reserve Command in 2006. His most recent assignments were; Command Sergeant Major, 377th TSC, New Orleans, LA, 143rd TRANSCOM, Orlando, Fla., the 32nd Trans Group, Tampa, Fla., and the 257th Trans BN, Gainesville, Fla.
Command Sergeant Major Leon Caffie started his military career when was drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He served his country in Vietnam from August 1970 to June 1971.
Command Sergeant Major Caffie’s military awards and decorations include the Distinguish Service Medal, 2 Legion of Merit Awards, 2 Bronze Stars (Vietnam), 1 Bronze Star (Iraqi Freedom), Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Campaign Medal, Operation Enduring Freedom Medal, National Defense Service Medal, 3 Meritorious Service Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.
Caffie retired as a major from his civilian position with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville, Fla., where he served as a Director of Law Enforcement Operations.
This year there will be no Veterans Day Parade, but Gadsden City Council members and Patriots Association member Ben Reed said the community can expect the parade to return next year and in subsequent years.