Honoring the fallen

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

A member of the VFW 8850 Honor Guard stands at attention during the rains that fell on Sunday’s Veterans Memorial Service at Woodland Cemetery (The Ironton Tribune | Mark Shaffer)

Annual ceremony held at Soldier’s Plot at cemetery

A light rain that turned into a heavy drizzle didn’t deter attendance at Sunday’s Veterans Memorial Service at Woodland Cemetery in Ironton.

The solemn ceremony is held at the Soldier’s Plot in the cemetery every year on the Sunday before the annual Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade.

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The event opened with a welcome from Mark McCown, an invocation by Chad Pemberton and the posting of colors by Ironton VFW Post 8850.

The guest speaker this year was Dr. Teresa McKenzie, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Ohio University Southern’s Accessibility Coordinator and the Veteran’s Service Coordinator.

She was born in North Carolina. After graduating high school in 1983, she went to the Western Carolina University to get an accounting degree but in her second year, she changed her major to Psychology and got a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in guidance and counseling.

In 1988, she joined the U.S. Air Force and with her degree, she became an inpatient psychiatry tech. 

At the start of the first Gulf War, she was sent to Wiesbaden, Germany, where there was a regional medical center for U.S. troops. 

Her last assignment was at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. in 1992. That is where she met her future husband, Paul, whose home was in Flatwoods, Kentucky.

She first got a job with Pathways in Morehead, Kentucky and then worked at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth working with adults to get them into college. She then came to OUS where helps students with disabilities have equal access to education despite any underlying condition.