All week veterans across Jackson County have been honored and recognized for their service to the nation and the celebration will continue this weekend. First Baptist Church of Ravenswood will hold a special Veterans Day Recognition Service at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15. Corporal Adam Greathouse, of Kenna, who was named the Disabled Veterans of America’s (DVA) Outstanding Veteran of the Year will be the keynote speaker.
Greathouse suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and major damage to his lungs and other internal organs leaving him in a coma, after having been deployed to Kosovo in the Balkan Peninsula. Officials believe during his time overseas, Greathouse somehow came into contact with a residual chemical agent that was likely used during the Albanian/Serb war in Kosovo between May 1998 to June 1999. Falling gravely ill, after being subjected to this chemical material, meant his chances of his survival was less than two percent.
Greathouse will share his road to recovery which included bouts with addiction and homelessness. His story is one of perseverance, courage, and his faith in God. Today and every day since, Greathouse continues to helps others with their seen and unseen scars resulting from their service to this nation.
The United States Veterans Affairs (VA) indicated the number of West Virginia veterans living in the state was 142,694, or roughly 10 percent of the adult population. Of those veterans, over 50 percent are age 65 or older.
“It’s important that we pause to honor our veterans,” pastor of First Baptist Church of Ravenswood Reverand Toby Wagoner said. “It is estimated by the VA that in 2045 the state’s veteran population will decrease from 148,000 to 81,000, or which amounts to a loss of nearly two percent of those veterans every year. We need to remember their service and sacrifices, and Adam’s story is one of those examples.”
Wagoner said veterans in attendance will receive a small gift from the church presented by Deacon Jon Moore as a token of appreciation. John Stephenson, a veteran paratrooper in the U.S. Army will read a special tribute. Wayne Fridley and Burt Lyons, veterans of the Vietnam conflict will present the colors. Attendees will hear patriotic music led by Abbi Woods and Ann Johnson, along with a brief message of faith and courage by the pastor.
“Our hope is this veteran recognition service will be a blessing to everyone, particularly those who have donned the uniform for this great nation, while honoring God’s provision in times of need,” Wagoner said. “We want to extend this special invitation for all veterans to join us this Sunday in person or online.”
During the time of COVID-19, First Baptist Church is adhering to local health guidelines requiring all attendees wear a mask inside the church building and during the service. Seating is through social distancing by utilizing every other pew. The service will be broadcast live on Facebook at facebook.com/FirstBaptistChurchRavenswoodWV.
First Baptist Church of Ravenswood is located at 215 Ann Street. Learn more about this event at fbcravenswood.org.