Georgia Department of Corrections Headquarters Holds Veterans Ceremony
Remembering and Recognizing Our Veterans
FORSYTH, Ga. -- On November 14, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) headquarters held a Veterans Day ceremony to remember and recognize those who have served our country. The ceremony included a video presentation of a TedX talk by a veteran followed by GDC employees who discussed their time in the service.
“We are indebted to veterans who have served and made sacrifices that provide us the opportunity to live with the many freedoms that we have in our great nation,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “It is at ceremonies like todays where we are able to show the veterans, within our GDC family, a small token of our appreciation. And I am grateful for these moments.”
The ceremony began with a TedX talk video by veteran Jon Jackson. In this poignant video, Jackson discussed the difficulties he had reentering the civilian world after leaving the military. After realizing there was no place for veterans to transition back into civilian life, Jackson founded Stag Vets Inc in Milledgeville, Ga. It was through this organization that Jackson created the nations first Acute Veterans Crisis Agriculture Center named Comfort Farms that prepares veterans and students for careers in sustainable food production.
Following the video, GDC employees shared their experiences of their service. Chaplain Steven Turner, the Director of Chaplaincy Services, joined the army at the age of 38 after providing his religious services for reserve units in Georgia who did not have an active chaplain. As serving in this capacity, he was approached to serve in a full-time capacity. Chaplain Turner served in the army for 24 years and retired at age 62. He says joining the military was his spiritual calling.
“There is no greater ministry than taking care of men in combat,” said Chaplain Turner. “You will be where death meets life and it is Jesus that makes the difference.”
Cliff Hartley, a United States Marine Corps veteran, was in the Vietnam War and described it as a “hurtful time and a hurtful place”. Hartley says he was drafted into the Marine Corps about four to six weeks cutting his college career short. He was then deployed for 18 months in the Da Nang province.
“For all of you that served, I stand with you and am very thankful because you supported me and I came back,” said Hartley.
About 18 GDC staff members were recognized as military veterans at the ceremony. Hartley says although the veterans that survived were happy to make it home, it is important to remember those who were left behind in body or in mind.
The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.
For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit http://www.gdc.ga.gov.