Harlem Middle School will be the sole public location this week to hear firsthand the experiences of Congressional Medal of Honor winner Jack Jacobs.
A retired Army colonel, Jacobs not only was awarded the nation's highest military honor during his service in Vietnam, he also is the recipient of three Bronze Stars and two Silver Stars.
Jacobs will speak about his military service on Friday as part of Veterans Day ceremonies at Harlem Middle.
Also speaking at the 10:45 a.m. event is retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Perry M. Smith.
Smith was a combat pilot who flew 180 missions over Vietnam and Laos during the Vietnam War.
Both men are authors and have as served as military advisers to national television news organizations.
Smith arranged Jacobs' speaking engagement at Harlem Middle, said the school's graduation coach, Dolly Morris.
Morris first worked with Smith two years ago when he spoke during a Veterans Day assembly at Greenbrier Middle School. Smith contacted Morris this year about returning to Columbia County for another Veterans Day service.
"I explained my move and then shared some of the academic and demographic specifics of Harlem Middle and the Harlem community, and asked him would he be willing to drive a bit farther and speak to our population," Morris wrote in an e-mail. "I was thrilled when he said, 'Yes.'"
Other featured segments of the ceremony include performances by the school's band and chorus and a presentation of the colors by the Harlem High School JROTC.
Tables containing military artifacts on loan from Harlem veterans will be on display.
After the service, Jacobs and Smith will sign copies of the books If Not Now, When? , written by Jacobs, and Medal of Honor , which is distributed by the Medal of Honor Foundation, of which Smith is the chairman.
Copies of those books are on sale -- $30 for Medal of Honor and $20 for If Not Now, When? -- as a fundraiser for the school.
"Getting to know (Smith) as I have, I suspected his philanthropic heart and thought that he would enjoy knowing that the book sales could not only get the stories out that he cares so much about, but also help our school -- a school with a large percentage of economically disadvantaged kids," Morris wrote.
The speakers agreed to sell the books at cost and allow the school to keep the profits.
Though some copies will be on sale at the event, advance copies can be purchased by calling Morris at (706) 556-5990, ext. 3425, or e-mailing her at email@example.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.