More details have been released regarding Gatlinburg’s Veterans Day Celebration. The celebration, scheduled for November 11, will feature Major General Rex McMillian as the keynote speaker.
McMillian was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in January, 1980 via the Platoon Leaders Class after graduating from the University of Southern California. He has served in various commands in Kingsville, TX, Yokosuka, Japan, Cecil Field, FL, Toro CA., Camp Pendleton, CA, New Orleans, LA, Iraq, and Honolulu, HI.
In January 2003, he was mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom and reported to 3rd MAW for both OCONUS and CONUS duties. In June 2005 he was demobilized and transferred to MAG-46 as the Deputy Commander. He has served in New Orleans, La., at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Hawaii among other duties.
The General’s awards include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. Aircraft he has flown include 3,000+ hours accumulated in the F/A-18, F-4S, TA-4J, T-2, T-34, CH-46, CH-53, UH-1, KC-130 and UC-12. Maj. Gen. McMillian is a Captain for Delta Air Lines in his civilian employment.
Activities during the Veteran’s Day Celebration include recognition of veterans, patriotic music, a military flyover and an American Bald Eagle presentation, among several others. The 100th Army Band from Fort Knox, Kentucky will perform in Gatlinburg on Veterans Day as part of the day’s observances. They will have component band performances leading up to the ceremony, including their rock band, jazz combo and brass quintet. The concert band will play patriotic music during the ceremony.
The American Eagle Foundation will have an eagle onsite. The POW/MIA Table will be presented by Gatlinburg Police Capt. Jim Maples who is a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers will also be recognized during the ceremony.
The free admission event will be held on the Plaza at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies from 11am – 2pm.