Novant Health TMC to honor veterans today
The celebration of military personnel in Thomasville will begin with a Veterans Day observance at 11:11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, in the lobby of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center.
The service will feature patriotic music and speakers who have fought for the nation's freedom. A complimentary lunch for veterans will follow the service.
The Rev. Stephen Vipperman will be featured as the main speaker. Born in March 1971 in Fort Worth, Texas, he graduated with honors from East Davidson High School in 1989 and attended The Citadel on NROTC and wrestling scholarships before becoming a Navy Seal and completing several deployments with Seal Team Four.
Vipperman later graduated with a master of divinity with Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
"It's important to remember the sacrifice of veterans, because people don't appreciate the freedoms that they have and abuse them," Vipperman said. "If we had the opportunity to give an account to a veteran for what we did with the freedom this person helped to provide, what would we say?"
The other speaker is retired Marvin Smith, who fought with the Army in the Battle of the Bulge. A resident of Piedmont Crossing, Smith was born in 1924. His sobering tale of traipsing through snow-covered Belgium is one that many in Thomasville will likely repeat over and over again.
"Cpl. Smith fought the Battle of the Bulge and was a hero in every sense of the word," said Linda Hunt, event organizer and liaison with Novant Health Foundation Thomasville Medical Center. "He lives at Piedmont Crossing and is a humble man who gave his all. He is one of our true Americans who lives right here in Davidson County. [The event] is important to help others know about and never forget many great men and women who fought for our country.”
Chuck Rivers, a veteran from the Korean War, will also be a guest speaker.
“This event will truly touch your heart,” Hunt added. “Our attendance grows each year and it is an event that the entire hospital including administration, employees, medical staff, both hospital and foundation boards, and volunteers, sincerely support and feel very passionate about to honor the men and women that have so unselfishly served our country,”
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.