MCCto host Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 9

McHenry County College will host a Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony beginning with patriotic music by the MCC Concert Band and Chorus at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, in the MCC Gym in Building A, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

Community members and student veterans, along with faculty, staff and guests, are invited to the event that features speakers, patriotic music, posting of the colors by a combined service Color Guard, and bagpipes and drum music.

In addition to recognizing veterans, visitors will have an opportunity to mingle and meet other veterans at a reception following the ceremony.

The keynote speaker is retired Sgt. Major Thomas Morrissey of Woodstock. He served more than 30 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces, with his last 14 years of service with the Illinois National Guard.

During his third combat tour to Afghanistan in the summer of 2006 - then Sergeant First Class - Morrissey received multiple gunshot wounds in an ambush. He endured three years of continuous surgeries and rehabilitation in Augusta, Georgia.

In April 2009, Morrissey was medically retired from the Army due to his injuries and returned to the Chicago area.

In 2011, Morrissey was recognized by the Medal of Honor Foundation with the "Courageous Spirit Award" for his work with Wounded Warriors.

In 2012, he was honored with "The Silver Order of Saint Philip Neri Award," which is given to those who demonstrate extraordinary performance and contributions to the U.S. Army Special Forces.

In addition, the retired sergeant major was acknowledged by the Northwest Herald newspaper last year as an "Everyday Hero."

Morrissey spends his personal time working to improve the services and support available to all injured soldiers and veterans as president of the board for McHenry-based Transitional Living Services for Veterans and as a board member with the Augusta, Georgia Warrior Project. Both are nonprofit organizations directly serving veterans.

"MCC's annual Veterans Day program is one of many efforts at the college to honor our country's military veterans," said Don Curfman, instructor and adviser for the Student Veterans Association at MCC.

"We also help veterans transition from the military service to college with our student organization and our Student Veterans Resource Center."

The events are free. Refreshments will be served following the program.

For more information, call the MCC Veterans Day Committee at (815) 479-7635.

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