Today the Naval Air Station here in Meridian held the grand opening of their new galley in honor of Vietnam war veteran lance corporal Roy Wheat.
The grand opening also served as a celebration of the 55th anniversary of the base.
“The community was very excited and that was really an understatement. That came with the announcement that this base would be made early in 1957, and increased with the start of construction in July of '57 and with the purchase of 8,000 acres for this base and 4,000 acres for the auxiliary bases,” Lamar McDonald said.
The keynote speaker was Wheat’s superior officer who spoke on his great sacrifice when he died saving his servicemen.
“All of a sudden the radio crackled, and they told me to get down there, they hit a mine. So, I grabbed the rest of what I could and headed that way. When we got down there they had blood running down their faces. They looked at me and told me that Wheat was dead.
I have one last thought and then I’ll shut my mouth. If you read in the new testament, Jesus told his disciples, 'no greater love have a man, than if he lays down his life for his friends,' and that's what Roy Wheat did. Thank you very much," Retired Lt. Col. Stephen Shivers said.
After the speeches, there was a ribbon cutting followed by a meal for those who were in attendance.