Retired general served country for 41 years

Retired general served country for 41 years


Retired Maj. Gen. Don Roberts of Ridgeland served in the Air National Guard for more than 40 years.

“Not everyone truly grasps the meaning of Veterans Day and some people take freedom for granted,” Roberts said in advance of this year’s Veterans Day observances that will be celebrated today (Thursday) to honor all the men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces.

Roberts is just one of those individuals, having begun his service in February 1968 in the Air National Guard and serving for 41 years and 29 days, retiring in December 2011. 

While he did not see combat, Roberts served in support in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I want everyone to understand the price that so many people pay for Americans to have the freedom they do,” Roberts said. “This day is a good time to stop and reflect on what our freedom means to us.”

Roberts said he appreciates all veterans, including several he knows in Ridgeland, including Maj. Gen. Bill Lutz, Maj. Gen. Erik Hearon and Col. D.I. Smith.

“I want to thank all the men and women who have served for our country,” Roberts said. “We should celebrate that they stepped up and fought for a cause greater than themselves for the freedom we have today.”

Cities throughout Madison County are planning individual Veterans Day activities today, Nov. 11.

Ridgeland will hold a Veterans Ceremony at 11 a.m. today, Nov. 11, at Veterans Memory Park in front of Ridgeland City Hall at 100 West School St.

City of Ridgeland Community Promotions Coordinator Mary Beth McCullouch said everyone is welcome and U.S. Rep. Michael Guest will be a guest speaker. 

At 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, the Daughters of American Revolution will present a veterans ceremony at the Never Forget Garden at Freedom Ridge Park at 253 W. School St. 

The city of Madison has placed American flags on Main Street and Madison Parkway and other cities will observe Veterans Day as a holiday.

Madison County Schools are hosting multiple Veterans Day programs. Ridgeland High School held a Wednesday morning ceremony that included a veterans parade around the campus before a more formal ceremony inside the school auditorium to honor the veterans.

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