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Al Lampkins stands and speaks at a podium.

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Al Lampkins speaks at the FTCC Veterans Day Ceremony on Nov. 11, 2022. [Brad Losh photo]

Fayetteville Technical Community College honored military veterans in its annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, welcoming U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Al Lampkins as the guest speaker.

Lampkins, who retired at Fort Bragg after serving 31 years, currently serves as the Fayetteville Community Network Director for Veterans Bridge Home. In coordination with the Regional Director, he manages care coordination for veterans to identify and connect them to available community resources.

He charted the longstanding tradition of service and sacrifice by profiling examples of service members’ courage dating back to the death of Crispus Attucks in the Revolutionary War through the selflessness of Master Sgt. Matthew Williams, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions that saved the lives of American soldiers and Afghan commandos under attack in 2008.

“We must remember this day and all who fought and sacrificed for it,” Lampkins said. “These are just a few examples of America’s extraordinary sons and daughters, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, fathers and mothers. Our heroes here at home who have continued to answer the call for our nation time and time again.”

A photo with the back of the crowd gathered to listen to Veterans Day Ceremony speaker Al Lampkins, who is speaking at a podium in the background.

The crowd listens to Lampkins speak at the Veterans Day Ceremony. [Brad Losh photo]

The ceremony was a joint event by Heroes Homecoming and FTCC. Jessie Bellflowers, FTCC’s department chair of Business Administration and a U.S. Air Force veteran, spoke on the history of Veterans Day and introduced Lampkins.

FTCC Military/Veterans Programs Director Chuck Bradly and Assistant Director Robin Newman also delivered remarks.

Lampkins employed those in attendance, not just to thank veterans, but to exercise the rights and freedoms protected by service members’ sacrifices by supporting veterans, volunteering and voting.

“The best way to honor our veterans is to take an active part in maintaining freedom. We must teach future generations about the stories of our veterans — their resolve, their resiliency, their serving spirit,” Lampkins said. “Our nation’s veterans are the embodiment of courage and selflessness and are deserving not only of our thanks, but our support.”

Jessie Bellflowers speaks at a podium. On either side of him, people are seated at tables.

Jessie Bellflowers introduces Lampkins during the ceremony. [Brad Losh photo]

Members of the 82nd Airborne Color Guard carry the flags.

Members of the 82nd Airborne Division 3rd Brigade Support Battalion present the colors. [Brad Losh photo]