Lt. Gen. Brailsford to keynote Orange Co. veterans program

Lt. Gen. Brailsford to keynote Orange Co. veterans program

The public is invited to the 13th annual tribute to Orange County veterans 6 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at the Heritage Veterans Memorial Plaza, 3810 MLK Drive in Orange. The event is free.

Held annually on the plaza on the campus of Orange First Church of the Nazarene, the program includes special speakers, patriotic music and more.

The event will feature greetings from Lieutenant General Marvin D. Brailsford, U.S. Army Retired. Born in Burkeville in 1939, General Brailsford culminated his 33 years of military service in 1992 as the Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Material Command. During his military career, he held a variety of important command and staff positions including Commanding General of the U.S. Army Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command, the 59th Ordnance Brigade, the 60th Ordnance Group, the 101st Ordnance Battalion and staff assignments in Vietnam, Germany and the United States.

After his retirement, he served as president of Metters Industries, an information technology and system engineering company. He is also a retired vice president of Kaiser Hill LLC, which successfully accomplished the environmental cleanup of the Rocky Flats nuclear production facility near Denver. In 1995, he founded his own company, The Brailsford Group Inc., a management consulting company. Brailsford is also a retired director of two publicly traded companies, Illinois Tool Works Inc., a Fortune 200 company, and Conn’s Inc.

Brailsford is a deacon and officer of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Beaumont. In conjunction with the city of Beaumont and his church, he led a project that built a community of low- to moderate-income homes. The Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences at Prairie View A&M University is named in honor of General Brailsford and his wife.

The patriotic tribute will honor all veterans and those currently serving. The program will also feature the Southeast Texas Color Guard, Patriot Riders Motorcycle Group, Vietnam Veterans Mobil Museum, Orange Community Band and other patriotic music. Complimentary refreshments will be served after the program.

The plaza features the life-size sculpture “Tears from a Grateful Heart” by Colorado-based artist Scott Stearman and the names of scores of veterans from Orange County.

Inscribed on plaques incorporated into the plaza are the names of airmen, sailors, soldiers and marines as well as veterans of the U.S. Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.

Also featured in the plaza is the ship’s bell from the U.S.S. Dyson. Built in Orange, the U.S.S. Dyson went on to earn the Presidential Unit Citation and 11 battle stars for World War II service.

Orange County veterans’ names may be added in granite for $40. Messages may be added to bricks in the memorial for $100. For more information, call (409) 883-4674.