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'I try to serve the people and give my best': Houston County elementary school celebrates active military and veterans

MSgt. Fred Wilson received the key to the City of Warner Robins and a proclamation

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Veterans Day is a day to remember the active military and veterans who have fought to serve our country. Students and staff at David A. Perdue Elementary school held a celebration for the men and women who have served. 

One special guest honored was Houston County School Board chairman Fred Wilson. He served in the Air Force from July 4, 1964, to November 1, 1986, and says his whole life's purpose has been to serve.

"Everything that I've done has been about service. Service to the people around me, service to my country as a whole, and the freedom that we have. All the military veterans, active-duty military present, they make it happen, and I am really thankful for it," the master sergeant said. 

Principal Andy Payne told 13WMAZ his father Jack Payne fought in Vietnam. He says his father doesn't talk about his time in the service often.

"He only talked about it one night. I know what he went through. I know the stories because of that one night," Payne said.

When Payne became principal at Perdue Elementary in the 2014-2015 school year, he put together a Veterans Day celebration to honor the military men, women, and families.

During the event, Wilson was presented with a plaque by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, from the Georgia House of Representation with a Proclamation of Recognition of his service.

Warner Robins Mayor LaRhonda Patrick also gave Wilson the key to the city of Warner Robins. He says his contribution was always to serve others.

"I try to serve the people and give my best," Wilson said.

Wilson says what he remembers most about the military was joining.

"Was something that I always wanted and dreamed of but once i became a member of the Air Force, I just wanted to give, give, give, serve, serve, serve," Wilson said.

Wilson also served as chairman of the school board since 2014. Before that he was vice-chairman. Wilson is set to retire from his position in December 2022.

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