Mann: Vets make communities [with parade gallery]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

Korea era veterans

Korea era veterans

Keynote speaker AZC (AW) Jill Susan Mann expressed her thanks to the many veterans whose service made it possible to live in a community like Andalusia.

“Because of your service, this community is one that could become what it is, and could embrace our family so much,” she said, adding her thanks to the families of those who served.

“You allowed our service members to do what they needed to do.

Mann said she and her family chose to make their home here because they found a home they liked, then set out to test the community.

“We talked to people everywhere,” she said. “Everybody just welcomed us with open arms. It felt like home to us.”

Finding a service group in the recently formed AmVets Post 23 helped, she said, adding that her husband, who spent 30 years in the Navy, now works with the Andalusia Police Department.

While serving, soldiers have physical challenges, separation challenges, and emotional challenges, she said.

“It’s hard for both the service members and those left behind,” she said. “You know when you look at a high school class, you will lose some of the best and brightest. Some who return will be forever changed.”

Mann joined the Navy in 1986. Her final tour of duty was as Chief Petty Officer with the Windjammers of VR-51 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where she served as the maintenance control leading chief petty officer and contracting officer representative.