BRUNSWICK, Ga. --
Members of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations schoolhouse, the United States Air Force Special Investigations Academy, played prominent roles in the Glynn County, Ga., Memorial Day Event May 28, 2018.
USAFSIA Color Guard members Special Agents Jessica Goins, Nathan Farber, Tamisha Turner and Tech. Sgt. Tyson Andersen presented the colors to start the ceremony followed by the national anthem, sung by Stan Moran, and an invocation by council chaplain Robert Gibbons.
The guest of honor, Col. Amy Bumgarner, delivered the keynote address.
As Commander, Bumgarner is responsible for training more than 1,000 students a year in advanced criminal and counterintelligence investigations for the Air Force Special Investigation Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Before that, she served in the Air Force Pentagon Communications Agency, was deployed to Afghanistan and served as an Air Force field investigations region commander in Colorado, among other assignments.
“I am honored to have a part in thanking those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Bumgarner said.
She encouraged the attendees to use Memorial Day to pay their respects to those who are no longer living by living their daily lives in service to their fellow citizens.
“They left behind family members. Mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. We will never forget their sacrifices and honor their service,” Bumgarner said. “We will remember them.”
A local military veteran was brought to tears to honor fallen U.S. soldiers. The Veterans Council of the Golden Isles named Linda Seawell Patriot of the Year for her service both in the military and as a civilian.
Dave Olender, chairman of the veterans council, welcomed attendees before handing the microphone over to some honored guests: Air Force veteran and Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey, Air Force veteran and Glynn County Commission Chairman Bill Brunson, Army veteran and state Rep. Don Hogan, state Rep. Jeff Jones and state Sen. William Ligon.
Harvey said he was proud to be a citizen of the country his fellow soldiers gave their lives for, and Brunson said he was grateful to those who fought and died to preserve America.
Memorial Day is about freedom and those who sacrificed for it, Hogan said, while Jones asked for God’s blessing on the fallen and those they left behind. Ligon said he is thankful for the liberty Americans enjoy every day and to those who laid down their lives for it.
Afterward, Veterans council Vice Chairman Bennie Williams presented the award to Seawell. She served in both the Army and Air Force over the course of 30 years. Williams said her record of community service is also worthy of distinction.
“There are very few people who can say they are a hero in the military and at home. Our candidate this year has done both,” Williams said.
Seawell said she was thankful for the recognition, and that there are many more who deserve it as well.
“Thank you to the veterans council. There are a lot of people who are deserving of this, and your day will come, but for now, thank you,” said a tearful Seawell.
Following that, many local veterans groups participated in what Williams called an Honor Salute in place of the placing of the wreaths, as the ceremony had to be moved indoors in expectation of inclement weather.
Members of two local Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, three American Legion posts, Disabled American Veterans, the Navy League and the Marine Corps League, among others, took part.