SIKESTON - The annual Memorial Day Service is set for 10:30 a.m. Monday at Veterans Park in Sikeston. In the event of rain, the service will be moved to the First Christian Church.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Jack Jackson will be guest speaker for the event. Jackson, who flew 600 combat missions during his tour in Vietnam, is the recipient of four Distinguished Flying Crosses, 33 Air Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal for Valor and was most recently presented the Legion of Merit for service to the United States.
After leaving active duty with the Marine Corps, Jackson became a test pilot for McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Corporation in St. Louis (now Boeing) and has flown every fighter aircraft in the military inventory.
During Operation Desert Storm, he returned to active duty to train Harrier pilots in preparation of flying combat missions in the Persian Gulf. Jackson now serves in the Missouri House of Representatives, where he is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and Veterans Affairs Committee.
He was presented the Legislator of the Year Award in 2003 by the Missouri Department of Veterans Affairs for his outstanding work on behalf of veterans.
He and his wife, the former Arleen Henerlong, have three children and seven grandchildren.
Also participating in the service will be area veterans from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and AMVETS. Sondra S. Armour of Sikeston, representing the SEMO Support Network, will also speak.
Sgt. Michael Baker, USMC of the Mason O. Yarbrough Marine Corps Detachment will present colors. Presentation of the wreath will be by Lt. Col. Glenn Schneider, a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of Desert Storm, where he commanded an artillery battery in Kuwait.
Reenactors of Venture Post 149 of Sikeston will perform the gun salute and taps, under the direction of Rick Justice.