Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School will host its annual Veterans Day program beginning at 9 a.m. ET Friday, Nov. 10 in the R. Marion Craig Coliseum at the school.

Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School will host its annual Veterans Day program beginning at 9 a.m. ET Friday, Nov. 10 in the R. Marion Craig Coliseum at the school.

The guest speaker will be Maj. General (Ret.) James Simmons.

The program will begin with invocation from Dr. Geoffrey Lentz from First United Methodist Church.

Mitch Bouington, the Band of Gold and guitar group and chorus will perform patriotic music and students will recite “The Gettysburg Address” and “In Flanders Field.”

The art students from Julie Hodges’ class will display their art work and Kesley Colbert will present “The Ragged Ol’ Flag.”

Student Government Association members will greet veterans and display banners for each branch of military services.

Commander Anthony Almon will recognize veterans and the NJROTC unit will acknowledge Gulf County veterans killed in action and present a drill exhibition.

A reception for veterans will be held following the program in the media center.

Maj. General James E. Simmons was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant of Armor following his 1974 graduation from Arkansas State University; Simmons was the highest-ranking Cadet from all ROTC programs in the nation commissioned by the U.S. Army that year.

Simmons had commanded at every level, from platoon to brigade. He was selected as a Brigadier General in 1999 and served as Deputy Commander for Maneuver, 1st Cavalry Division; Commander, Combined Joint Task Force (Kuwait); Commanding General, Combat Readiness Center; Deputy Commander, III Corps and Fort Hood; Deputy Commander, III Corps (Forward) Kuwait and Iraq;, Commander, III Corps (Rear) and Fort Hood; and Deputy Commander, Multi-National Corps Iraq.

He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (OLC), Department of Defense Superior Medal, Legion of Merit (4 OLC), Bronze Star, Air Medal and 31 other awards and Campaign Medals.

He is a Distinguished Alumni from Arkansas State, a member of the Army ROTC Hall of Fame, Top 100 Graduates of Arkansas State, Hall of Honor, Football and ROTC, and a member of the State of Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Simmons and his wife Rita have called Port St. Joe home since 2008.