The annual VFW/American Legion wreath laying ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Park of Jackson County at 9:30 on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2021. Following the ceremony, the annual program will be held at Collins Intermediate School, beginning at 10:45 a.m. in the auditorium. All citizens of Jackson County are invited to attend to honor the veterans who have served this country. Veterans who gave their lives so that others have been able to live in a free country will also be honored.
Guest speaker will be Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt)Eric Dudash (ret.), who has 30 years experience in the United States Air Force and has been engaged in every conflict since Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan and multiple other engagements including hostage rescue and drug interdiction.
Obtaining the rank of CMSgt, he served in command positions in support of MAJCOMS from Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Force Central Command, Air Combat Command, United States Air Forces Europe, Special Operations Command, Combined Joint Special Operations Component and Air Education and Training Command. During his service, he deployed 17 times and completed 167 Tours of Duty. His last position allowed him to advise commanders with issues regarding the readiness, utilization, morale, professional development and quality of life of more than 1,200 permanent party enlisted members in 62 different Air Force specialties and 35,000 annual student graduates worldwide.
CMSgt Dudash recently retired from active duty with the United States Air Force in December of 2018. He holds a Masters of the Arts in Education, concentrating in Adult Education and Training. He resides in Mentone with his wife, Barbara and is a proud father of three children, Zachary, Brooke and Adoree.
Chief Dudash is an active member of the DeKalb County VFW Post 3128 that truly encompasses, “Nobody Does More for Veterans.” He continues to be a servant leader in the community by volunteering with Comfort Care Hospice, helping Warrior Freedom Service Dogs in Flinstone, Georgia, providing leadership seminars for businesses throughout the state of Alabama and engaging with youth about the importance of resiliency.
He is currently working on a children’s book titled, “I Am A Patriot,” based on his experiences after retirement.
This year, take Memorial Day to heart and come to Collins to honor these veterans. Drop everything else and come to honor these soldiers who deserve the support.
See you on Memorial Day at the Veterans Memorial Park at 9:30 a.m. and at Collins at 10:45 a.m.