Four veterans who have made outstanding contributions through their service while in uniform and through their work in the community, will be recognized as part of a month-long, local program planned in honor of National Veterans & Military Families Month. Veterans from our community selected for the honor includes: 

SSG Senator U.L. Rip Gooch (Army), 

LTC (R) Arnetha Martin (Army), 

Police CPT Clay Germany (Navy), and 

COL (R) Herman Hicks (Air Force)

This is the second year for the recognition program sponsored by the City of Wichita and the Veterans Coalition, which this will honor a total of 15 veterans.  Last year, former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer was the only veteran of color included in a much smaller class of honorees. This year, the event organizers wanted to expand the program to include a more diverse group of veterans.  

“The coalition wanted to broaden our recognition because we have a lot of veterans who achieved great things during their time in uniform, and they’re continuing to do the same kind of good thing right here in our city,” said Larry Burks, WSU’s Director of Military and Veterans Services and Veterans Coalition member. 

As part of their recognition, each of the veterans will be pictured on a banner that will hang in Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita during the month of November.  The banners will be unveiled during a ceremony on Mon., Nov. 1, 5:30 p.m. in Naftzger Park.  Before the unveiling, there will be a ceremony to honor the 15 veterans.

In addition to the honoree’s photo, each banner will also display the veteran’s name, military branch, rank and years of service.  At the end of the month, the banners will be presented to the families.   

This program seeks to ensure veterans, their families, and the community have an opportunity to honor and learn more about these exceptional service people, said Burks 

 “This program gives our young people an example to look up to because they can see that somebody looks just like them, has done something like that in uniform and continued to do vital work in the community they live in today,” said Burks.

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