SMC to Honor Local Heroes This Veteran’s Day


SMC to Honor Local Heroes This Veteran’s Day

Spartanburg Methodist College is pleased to announce an event honoring military veterans in the community.

On Nov. 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Gibbs Auditorium, SMC welcomes Rev. Gene Lassiter, D.Min., a pastor who served in Key West during the Cuban Missile Crisis as well as two tours of duty in Vietnam. Dr. Lassiter’s helicopter flight class was the first to be sent entirely to Vietnam. During that conflict, Dr. Lassiter flew gunships with the 9th Air Cavalry Squadron, First Cavalry Division, a unit that lost more helicopter crews in Vietnam than any other. Following a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, Dr. Lassiter obtained a Master’s in Divinity. He went on to serve eight congregations in South Carolina and West Virginia over 48 years.

Dr. Lassiter is most recently the chaplain at St. Luke’s Free Clinic and works with Upstate Warriors Solutions, an organization seeking to aid veterans from all conflicts. Dr. Lassiter will discuss his time in Vietnam, and lessons learned from his time in armed service.

“This is a time to celebrate our veterans and their service to our nation,” Kim Caton, SMC Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development, said. “In a world of chaos, violence, and change, our veterans are a constant.”

SMC students will perform a selection of patriotic music. Additionally, there will be special musical performances by Dorman High School senior Kit Lindsey and the Poplar Springs Baptist Church Praise Team. SMC Drama Department students will perform monologues exploring the impact of veterans and their service on the lives of multiple members in a community.

“We have generations of people who have selflessly given their lives to protect our freedoms, to make our country the land of the free,” Caton adds. “We want to celebrate the brave men and women who have served and are still serving.”

The event is free and open to students as well as the community.


Members from all military branches and every major conflict since World War II were honored at SMC's 2017 Veteran's Day Celebration.

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