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LWC Veterans Appreciation Luncheon

Lindsey Wilson College Veterans Appreciation Luncheon honors veterans 'Who were asked to do a job'

By Duane Bonifer

For Michael Kearns, Veterans Day is an opportunity to not only thank those who served in the U.S. military but also those who supported the nation's military personnel -- the "wives and guys."

Kearns recalled that his wife, Karen, was a constant source of support for him throughout his distinguished career in the Air Force, which included flying 100 combat missions over Vietnam.

Kearns told more than 170 guests Thursday at Lindsey Wilson College's 13th-annual Veterans Appreciation Luncheon that, like most veterans, he moved around the world several times during his military career.

"But we always had someone to come home to -- someone who kept us straight when it kind of got crazy out there," he said at the luncheon's keynote talk at Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center. "You never hear much about that. How they did it, I don't know.

"So my hats off to the wives and the guys that were there for them when we came back, regardless of what shape we were in, how our mind was. They were always there, and they stood up for us. ... We owe our wives, and girlfriends at the time, a debt that will almost be impossible to repay."

LWC's annual Veterans Appreciation Luncheon is held around Veterans Day so the event does not conflict with the official Nov. 11 holiday.

A 1963 LWC graduate, after Kearns retired from the Air Force he joined Lockheed Martin, where he worked on development of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

"To be able to do something like that is unbelievable," he said. "I just saw a news clip the other day of an F-22 that visited our friends in Syria. That kind of made me feel good."

Kearns said that most veterans served simply because they were called upon to do a job.

"None of us did it for the money because you didn't get that much money," he said. "But at the end of the day, you could go home and say, 'Yeah, been there,' and you feel good about yourself.

"I don't like flag-waving because none of us ever did. We just were asked to do a job, and we gladly went out and did it. We didn't do it for glory, we didn't do it for the money, we did it because someone said, 'Hey, we've got a job that needs doing. Would you mind doing it?'"


This story was posted on 2015-11-13 11:20:30
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Joe Hare Leads the Pledge



2015-11-13 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Duane Bonifer.
Joe Hare of Columbia VFW Post 6097 leads the saying of the "Pledge of Allegiance" during Lindsey Wilson College's 13th-annual Veterans Appreciation Luncheon, held Thursday in Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center.

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More than 170 attended the LWC Veterans Appreciation Luncheon



2015-11-13 - Columbia, KY. - Photo by Duane Bonifer.
Lindsey Wilson College Dean of Students Chris Schmidt welcomes more than 170 guests to the college's 13th-annual Veterans Appreciation Luncheon.

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Veteran Jim Smallwood at LWC Veterans Luncheon



2015-11-13 - Columbia, KY - Photo by Duane Bonifer.
Army veteran Jim Smallwood of Columbia, left, talks to fellow Army veteran Willard Fudge of Columbia before the start of Lindsey Wilson College's 13th-annual Veterans Appreciation Luncheon.

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