Army Specialist Josh Richardson of Carrier Mills was the keynote speaker at the event where he paid tribute to those who have served in the United States military.
“From the start of the Revolutionary War, to all the men and women currently serving today, America’s best and bravest have stepped forward to fight oppression, tyranny and defend freedom on both our home soil and foreign lands,” said Richardson.
Richardson served in the US Army from 2002-2007 as a tank crewman for M1A1 Abrams tanks. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2004-2005.
Richardson spoke on the sacrifices that have been made to ensure freedom in America.
There is one thing I know for certain, as long as that flag still waves over this beautiful nation, there will be freedom for all Americans under it,” said Richardson There will be brave men and women who will stand and will fight and give their lives to protect it. That is what America truly is.
Richardson is a 2001 graduate of Galatia High School. He earned an associate degree in nursing from Southeastern. He obtained a Bachelors Degree in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing and a Masters in Science of Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner from Chamberlain University.
Richardson is currently employed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Marion, IL, as a nurse practitioner and resides in Carrier Mills with his wife Bre, and three children, Carson, Elijah and Piper.
The National Anthem was sung by SIC student Kale Rister and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Pre-K class of the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study. Executive dean of student services, Chad Flannery welcomed the audience to the ceremony. Bridget Payne gave the benediction at the end of the ceremony.
Richardson was also joined by Color Guard from Eldorado VFW Post 3479 and Michael Hillegas Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution members, Sharon L. Tanner, Kathy R. Morris, Janice Hall and Sheila Albright to remember those who died defending their country and to support those who have returned home from service or who are currently serving in the military.
At the end of the event Flannery announce the kick-off of the Veterans Old Glory brick campaign happening atSoutheastern Illinois College. This campaign will specifically honor our country’s servicemen and women. SIC Student Government and the SIC Foundation are teaming up to make lasting improvements on campus as well as celebrate Veterans. SIC plans to build a memorial surrounding the flagpole on the south side of campus in front of the building Harry W. Abell Administration Building, the George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center, and the new Ella Elizabeth Hise Museum of Regional Art.
Patrons can choose a message to be laser engraved on one of the bricks paving the new Veterans Memorial for just $75- $400. These bricks can be used to recognize a special veteran, honor a lost veteran, or commemorate ones time in the service.
Currently, close to 30 veterans and dependents of veterans currently attend SIC using veteran education benefits. Certifying and recertifying educational benefits, special recognition events, discounts, free access to the fitness center, care packages, assistance with grants and scholarships and college credit for military experience, are just some of the additional things the college and its Veterans Service Office have provided its veterans over the years.
For further information on SIC’s veteran programs and events, go toor contact Kyla Burford at 618-252-5400 ext. 2440 or . To learn more about the Veterans Old Glory brick campaign visit