FLORENCE – A military officer who served as the executive aide to 11 generals from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps for nearly a year during the height of the war on the Islamic State will return to his home state to deliver a Veterans Day message.
Army Lt. Col. Forrest Gibbes, of U.S. Army Central Command based at Shaw Air Force Base, will be the guest minister and will deliver a message entitled, “Never Would Have Made It Without You” Sunday, Nov. 15 at New Ebenezer Baptist Church, located at 307 S. Ravenel St.
Gibbes’ message will coincide with the church’s plans to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam veterans beginning at 10:30 a.m.
A color guard is planned for this event. This is the church’s opportunity to honor the church’s veterans and the membership who are currently serving in the armed forces. The public is invited.
Gibbes served as the secretary of the joint staff for Army Central Command during its unprecedented run as the Army Service Component Command, Combined Forces Land Component Command and Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. He was responsible for ensuring the coordination of war plans and schedules during the effort to combat violent extremism in the Middle East.
Gibbes, a native of Lake City, was invited by the Rev. Norman Gamble, pastor at New Ebenezer Baptist Church, a ministry with a membership of about 500 active members.
This event will culminate with a dinner for the veterans and their immediate families at the church’s Strive Hard Educational, Recreational and Enrichment Center.