MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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Local News

November 7, 2013

Veteran of Afghanistan to speak

An Afghanistan campaign veteran and Wounded Warrior alumni will speak at a Veteran’s Appreciation Day Ceremony on Friday.

Army Spc. Aaron Estes is a retired Oklahoma National Guardsman who lives in Tahlequah.

He was injured in Afghanistan on July 29, 2011 by a roadside bomb. Estes suffered severe injuries and spent Aug. 2, 2011 to July 25, 2013 at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

He will speak from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at Muskogee Workforce Oklahoma.

“Part of me is nervous because it is my first major speaking engagement,” Estes said.  

Estes said he invites the community to “come out and hear a story of wounded veteran that came from literally having to be put back together.”

There are 3,593 veterans living in Muskogee and 6,551 veterans living in Muskogee County, according to a 2007-2011 U.S. Census Bureau report.

“A lot of people have died for our country and made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Ryan Davis, local veterans employment representative. “This is just a small way to reflect on veterans that have served and to the veterans that have made it back home.”

Alisha Tanksley, vice president of marketing for the Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce, will sing the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Jerry Fuller of Porter will recite his poetry.

Following the event, snacks will be available, and anyone who wishes to share their story will be given the opportunity.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Veterans Appreciation Day Ceremony.

WHEN: 9 to 11 a.m. Friday.

WHERE: Muskogee Workforce Oklahoma, 717 S. 32nd St.

INFORMATION: Ryan Davis, (918) 682-3364, Ext. 233.  

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