TCAT Hartsville staff and students who served in America’s armed forces were recognized during a Nov. 11 ceremony at the school.

TCAT Hartsville staff and students took time out recently to recognize those among them who took up the call to serve in America’s armed forces.

On Veterans Day, a special ceremony was held at the Hartsville location with 11 former service members being honored: James Bradford, Robert Blankenship, Daniel Harris, Jesse Sears, Justin Smith, Lucas West, Brandon Navong, David Malmin, Melvgn Luhrs, Clyde Mansfield and Brad Patrick. Each received a card of thanks from TCAT Hartsville’s SkillsUSA chapter.

In addition, SkillsUSA presented a $500 check to Macon County’s chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, with Quartermaster K.C. Henry accepting on the group’s behalf. SkillsUSA sponsor Angie Anderson explained that each year, TCAT Hartsville donates to veterans in one of the five counties it serves — Trousdale, Macon, Smith, Wilson and Sumner.

One other special award was given to recent TCAT Hartsville graduate Justin Kimbrell, an Air Force veteran himself. Kimbrell received the Chancellor’s Commendation, an award instituted last year by Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora W. Tydings to honor veterans at all TCAT campuses statewide.

The Chancellor’s Commendation is conferred in the form of a specially designed Challenge Coin. Challenge coins are a tradition in all branches of the military, signifying special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect and esprit de corps.

In nominating Kimbrell for the award, TCAT Hartsville President Mae Wright wrote, “Mr. Kimbrell graduated from the Machine Tool Technology program in April of this year. He earned a Machinist I Diploma and seven credentials from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills, including a Certificate of Special Merit. During his last trimester, he began a cooperative work agreement with Independent Machine in Lebanon as a CNC Programmer. He worked four 10-hour days and attended classes on the remaining day during his co-op with Independent Machine. He is a true competitor and highly qualified in skills!”

Kimbrell competed for TCAT Hartsville at the state SkillsUSA competition earlier this year as well, earning gold-medal status as a CNC Technician.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or Contributing: Staff reports

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