Veterans Day in Hattiesburg

2022 SCHEDULE

24-Hour Vigil
11 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2022 – 11 a.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022
Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Day Parade
10 a.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022
Begins on Hardy Street at Hardy Street Baptist Church, ending at Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Day Ceremony
11 a.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022
Veterans Memorial Park

ADDITIONAL EVENTS

Thursday, November 10 | 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Hattiesburg High JROTC Veterans Breakfast, in HHS Library
All veterans are invited to share in fellowship over breakfast, hosted by the HHS JROTC.

Monday, November 14 | 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Military Appreciation Night, at Golden Corral
Free meal for anyone who is currently serving or who has served in the US Military (retirees, veterans, active duty, etc.) 

VETERANS COMMITTEE

The Hattiesburg Veterans Committee is a longstanding committee comprised of representatives from a variety of veterans organizations throughout the Pine Belt. This committee is an integral part of celebrating all veterans through both Memorial Day and Veterans Day. This includes ceremonies and the Veteran of the Year selection process.

Chair, Veterans Committee
Ted Tibbett
phone:601-606-3330
email: tedtibbett@gmail.com

Chair, Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year Selection Committee
Colonel (Ret) Sheila Varnado
phone: 601-606-5209
email: varnados@comcast.net

The City of Hattiesburg celebrates Veterans Day each year on November 10 and 11 through a series of activities coordinated and presented by the Hattiesburg Veterans Committee. These include a 24-hour vigil beginning on November 10 and ending right before the Ceremony on November 11. It also includes a Veterans Day Parade that is presented by the Magnolia Chapter of the Armed Forces Top Enlisted Association. Each of these are described in further detail below.

VETERAN OF THE YEAR

Nelson Haskin, Jr., 2022 Veteran of the Year
Nelson Haskin, Jr., 2022 Veteran of the Year

This year, the Veteran of the Year Selection Committee announced NELSON HASKIN, JR as the 2022 Veteran of the Year!

“The City of Hattiesburg has been selecting and honoring an outstanding civic leader who served our nation honorably through the military for the past 28 years. After their military service, these veterans have returned home or relocated to Hattiesburg and continued to serve,” said Colonel (Ret) Sheila Varnado, chair of the Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year Selection Committee. “A true and time-tested servant leader, we are proud to introduce Sgt. 1st Class Nelson Haskin, Jr., as the 2022 Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year.”

To learn more about Nelson, his story and the reasons why he was selected, click here.


Vernon F. Dahmer, Veteran of the Year 2020
Vernon F. Dahmer, Veteran of the Year 2020

The Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year program seeks to locate and recognize those who have served our Nation, returned home and continue to serve our community. The selection committee is comprised of all living previous awardees of this distinguished recognition who continue to reside in the Pine Belt area. The selection committee invites the community at large to nominate eligible veterans who have made sustained and notable contributions in the greater Hattiesburg community. The selected Veteran is always introduced to Hattiesburg on Veterans Day, November 11 during the Hattiesburg Veterans Day Program at Veterans Memorial Park.

Do you know a veteran who fits the criteria above? Anyone in the community can nominate an outstanding Veteran for consideration of the award. The basic requirements for entry follow:

  1. Must be a resident of the Hattiesburg area for the last five (5) years (Forrest and Lamar Counties).
  2. Must be a Veteran of any service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  3. Must have received an honorable discharge for military service (Copy of the DD Form 214 required).
  4. Must have demonstrated the spirit of good citizenship and patriotism.
  5. Must have made some significant contribution (s) not just to fellow Veterans but, to the overall betterment of the larger Hattiesburg community.

Please contact Colonel (Ret) Sheila Varnado, Chair, Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year Selection Committee at varnados@comcast.net for further details on the nomination process.

VETERANS DAY PARADE

This annual event coordinated by AFTEA celebrates and honors the many veterans in our community and across the United States. There is no fee to be in the parade, but registration and acknowledgment of the rules are required. All participants must be aware of and agree to the regulations in order to complete this application.

[REGISTRATION FORM]

Friday, November 11, 2022
Parade Line-up: Hardy Street Baptist Church, 1508 Hardy Street
Participants can arrive for line up starting at 7:30 am
The parade will begin at 10 a.m.

For questions or concerns, please contact Linda Montgomery or Marion Walley with AFTEA. Linda Montgomery – E-Mail: lmontgomery60@gmail.com // Phone: 601-298-4296; Marion Walley – E-Mail: walleycsm@comcast.net // Phone: 601-596-3830

24-HOUR VIGIL

Each year, beginning at 11 a.m. on November 10, the Air Force ROTC Honor Guard from The University of Southern Mississippi begin a 24-hour vigil at Veterans Memorial Park to honor all who have died while serving in the armed forces. At 7 p.m., they begin reading the 173 names of Hattiesburg area-natives that are listed on the pillars at the park.

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY

The Veterans Day Ceremony, which takes place immediately following the parade (11 a.m.) on November 11, is the culmination of a lot of hard work to honor all veterans in the Hattiesburg community. The event includes remarks by the mayor and a keynote speaker, the presentation of Veteran of the Year, posting the service flags and many more ceremonial elements. It’s a beautiful tribute to so many who have served the United States through military service and event coordinators invite the community to share in the special day.

VETERANS OF THE YEAR

The Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year program, now in its 28th year, seeks to locate and recognize those who have served our Nation, returned home and continue to serve our community. The selection committee is comprised of all living previous awardees of this distinguished recognition who continue to reside in the Pine Belt area. Below is a list of all recipients since the program’s establishment in 1994.

1994     Charles J. Brown — U.S. Army

1995    Art Albert — U.S. Navy
Harrison Ford — U.S. Army
Herman Johnson — U.S. Marine Corps
J.K. McMahan — U.S. Air Force

1996    Stan Black — U.S. Army

1997    Johnnie Williams — U.S. Air Force

1998    Dee Abbot — U.S. Navy

1999    Robert Ledford — U.S. Army

2000    Ken Smith — U.S. Army

2001    Clarence Roy Williams — U.S. Army

2002    Donald Eugene Evans — U.S. Army
Thomas Douglas White — U.S. Army

2003    Jeannette S. Hall — Women’s Army Corps (WAC)

2004    George Williams — U.S. Air Force

2005    Ted Tibbett — U.S. Army

2006    Raylawni Branch — U.S. Air Force

2007    Frederick Varnado — U.S. Army

2008    Robert “Bo” Tims — U.S. Air Force

2009    T. J. Gordon — U.S. Army

2010    Tom King — U.S. Air Force

2011    George Hall — U.S. Air Force

2012    Sheila Varnado — U.S. Army

2013     Captain, Honor Guard VFW Post 3036

2014    Henry Bethley — U.S. Air Force

2015    Marion Walley — U.S. Army

2016    George Herrington — U.S. Air Force

2017    Patricia Ann Thompson — U.S. Army

2018    Gary Iverson — U. S. Army

2019    William “Bill” Ray — U.S. Marine Corps

2020    Vernon F. Dahmer, Jr. — U.S. Air Force

2021    Joseph E. Kinnan — U.S. Air Force

2022    Nelson Haskin, Jr.  — U.S. Army