SGI Lighthouse plans Veterans Day ceremony

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The St. George Lighthouse Association, in partnership with SGI Veterans Reveille Group and American Legion Post #106 in Apalachicola will conduct a Veterans Day ceremony in Lighthouse Park on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

Veterans Day, an official United States public holiday observed annually on Nov. 11, honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the U.S. armed forces.

Guest speaker will be retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Donald Ralph, who retired in 2015 as the mobilization assistant to the commander of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field. Ralph served as the principal advisor to the commander for all reserve component matters and oversight of reserve force readiness, integration, operations, and mobilization in time of crisis and war.

Ralph entered the Air Force in 1980 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He served as a C-130 advanced flying training instructor pilot, followed by an air staff training assignment at the Pentagon. He was then selected initial cadre aircraft commander to fly the B-1B bomber at McConnell AFB, Kansas followed by selection to attend U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School.

He has served as an instructor, flight examiner and operations officer of a tactical airlift squadron, and commanded the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, the world-famous "Hurricane Hunters." Over his 35-year career, he has worked for commanders of two combatant commands and commanders of four major commands.

In his civilian occupation, he is employed as an international captain on the B-767 for a major airline.

Refreshments will be served after the ceremony and the lighthouse will be open to everyone with free climbs offered to all veterans.

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