CCC Honors Harrison During Veteran’s Day Presentation
A small group of fellow veterans gathered Monday afternoon in the office of the president to honor Coahoma Community College’s longest, continuous employee and oldest military veteran, Mr. Lonnie Harrison. Unaware as to why he was summoned to the president’s office Harrison, wearing a camouflage jacket, was presented with an American Flag that had been flown over the United States capital in Washington, D.C.
“We just wanted to recognize you for your service,” said former State Representative, Veteran and Teacher at CCC, John Mayo. “(State Representative) Bennie Thompson made sure that the flag flew over the capital, and we wanted you to have it, and we wanted to show our appreciation for your service to our country, and to Coahoma Community College.”
Harrison, originally from the Courtland area just outside Batesville, served in Korea in 1954-55, just after the Korean War had ended. He served as a jeep driver in a transportation company for the Battalion Commander. Harrison made frequent trips during his service above the 38th parallel – the official line that separated North and South Korea after the Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953 effectively ending the war. The army veteran also operated in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) – a 2.5 mile-wide buffer zone that was established between the north and the south.
Harrison, who will turn 81-years-old on Dec. 23, has been working for Coahoma Community College since 1968. Currently a member of the Building and Grounds Department, CCC President Dr. Valmadge Towner praised him for both his service to our country, and to the college.
“This man right here has more institutional knowledge than any other person that we have here at Coahoma,” said Towner. “He knows the location of just about every wire, and every pipe that we’ve ever installed here on campus. He’s been a tremendous asset to the college, but today I want to thank him for his service to our country, we are extremely thankful and proud of him.”
Also in attendance during Monday’s recognition ceremony were fellow CCC employees and veterans Mayo, who served in the Army from 1965-68 in Vietnam; retired instructor Henry Dorsey, who served in the Army Special Services from 1965-68 in both Korea and Vietnam; and former Marine and current English Instructor David Jones, who served in the Persian Gulf War.
“This was very unexpected, but I want to thank you very much,” said Harrison of the flag and certificate he was presented. “I am very thankful.”