Bagby asks residents to show support for veterans ‘every day’

Guest speaker Byron Bagby, a Fulton native and recently-retired major general with the U.S. Army, exchanges “thank yous” with Fulton resident Gene West after the 93rd Annual Veteran’s Day Banquet hosted by the American Legion Kingdom Post 210 and Fulton VFW Post 2657 Friday night. Bagby made a request at the end of his speech that everyone present thank veterans for their service every day, not just once a year.

Guest speaker Byron Bagby, a Fulton native and recently-retired major general with the U.S. Army, exchanges “thank yous” with Fulton resident Gene West after the 93rd Annual Veteran’s Day Banquet hosted by the American Legion Kingdom Post 210 and Fulton VFW Post 2657 Friday night. Bagby made a request at the end of his speech that everyone present thank veterans for their service every day, not just once a year. Photo by Katherine Cummins.

As Byron Bagby spoke to those gathered for the 93rd Annual Veteran’s Day Banquet hosted by American Legion Kingdom Post 210 and Fulton VFW Post 2657 Friday night, the recently-retired U.S. Army major general said he had two requests.

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Calie Wright sings "God Bless the USA" during the 93rd Annual Veteran's Day Banquet sponsored by The American Legion Kingdom Post 210 and Fulton VFW Post 2657 Friday night.

“First, after you leave here tonight, tomorrow and beyond, when you see a veteran ... do something very simple: Tell them, ‘thank you,’” Bagby said. “Second, we’ve enjoyed a nice meal tonight, we got time to see people we don’t see all the time. ... As we sit here, think of the 120,000 Americans who are deployed, and most of them are in harm’s way, right this very minute.”

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The crowd gathered at the Fulton VFW to honor area veterans Friday night sings along to "The Star Spangled Banner" with young guest singer Cali Wright.

It was a request seconded by Allen Nelson, vice commander of Kingdom Post 210.

“This is one night of the year we focus on veterans,” Nelson said. “I don’t think we take enough time throughout the year to recognize that service. The military is volunteer now... we ought to be grateful for everyone who volunteers now.”

As guest speaker for the veterans’ dinner, Bagby started off by expressing his gratitude toward the community he was raised in, as well as its veterans.

“There have been three pillars in my life: Calvary Baptist Church, Fulton Public Schools and Westminster College,” Bagby said, noting that the common thread linking those pillars together is his family. “I want to personally thank those Fultonians and Callawegians who are part of the 21.8 million veterans in our country.”

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