Memorial Day Commemoration to be held May 24

The University of Tennessee at Martin will host its annual Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, May 24, at the open area between the Paul Meek Library and the Boling University Center.

The guest speaker of the ceremony will be retired Lt. Col. Michael Peeler.

Peeler graduated from UT Martin in December 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education and health and was commissioned into the U.S. Army in the field artillery.

He served in South Korea as well as at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and Fort Polk, Louisiana. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the mission of building and training the Afghan Border Police Force.

Peeler commanded the Bravo Battery of the 1st Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division.

He earned a master of science degree in adult, occupational and continuing education at the U.S. Army Command and Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Peeler served at Fort Campbell as a major in the 3rd Brigade “Rakkasans” in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as the senior fire support officer.

Peeler was selected to serve as professor of military science for the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina. Upon completing that assignment, he was assigned as the deputy director and assistant secretary for the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission for United States Forces-Korea at Yongsan, South Korea.

He retired from the Army in November 2015 after nearly 27 years of service.

Currently, Peeler serves as the inaugural chief of police for Dyersburg State Community College and area Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology, which consists of nine campuses across northwest Tennessee.

Lt. Col. Bernard House, professor of military science, said the observance of Memorial Day is important to honor those who gave their lives for their nation.

“We give honor to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, he said. “It is important to honor them and also to honor their families, who also made sacrifices for their service.”

The ceremony is open to the public.

PHOTO: Retired Lt. Gen. Dennis D. Cavin was the guest speaker at last year’s UT Martin Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony. The UT Martin ROTC building was renamed in his honor on April 12. This year’s guest speaker is retired Lt. Col. Michael Peeler.

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