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'A wonderful show of appreciation': Fort Valley Navy vet visits students, mural in which he is honored

Navy Rear Admiral Alvin Holsey came to Fort Valley to see mural and talk to students in Peach County.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — From Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, Navy Week comes to Atlanta, and different Navy organizations came to the Peach State for community outreach and to show what the U.S. Navy is doing. One Fort Valley native came back to his home of Peach County to motivate students. 

Navy Rear Admiral Alvin Holsey grew up in Fort Valley. He went to Morehouse College as a computer science major in Atlanta after graduating from Peach County High School in 1983. He says he's blessed to be recognized in a new mural representing notable Fort Valley residents.

 "When I looked at it, I was impressed, but the first thing I thought was my mom was going to be very upset that I wasn't smiling in the picture," the aviator said.

The mural was painted by Christopher Johnson in July 2022. The mural was funded by Flint Energies as part of their co-op’s Rural Murals program. The painting, titled “Excellence is the Standard,” is on the east wall of 104 East Church Street. 

The mural features portraits of 10 distinguished residents who have excelled in the arts, athletics, and military. Marian McLemore with Flint Energies says the mural is to show Peach Countians who have done great work in the community.

"It's just a wonderful show of appreciation for our communities, our rural communities," McLemore said. 

Holsey also visited the Peach County Junior ROTC students to talk to them about what it means to join the military and how his career took off almost 34 years ago. 

"To leave here to become a naval aviator and then at some point a commander in carrier strike group. It's impressive."

Holsey told 13WMAZ he joined the ROTC program at Morehouse and had never flown in a plane ever before becoming a pilot. He has over 4,000 hours of flying. He even played football there for a few years.

Holsey also visited, Fort Valley State University and Georgia College University on his tour through central Georgia. He told students to follow their dreams and to have great strength and determination.

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