Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 10, 2012

Bizzell shares Veteran’s Day message at Navarro College

Corsicana — His story is typical of many — a proud veteran headed off to school on the GI Bill. But his service didn’t end there.

And Friday, retired Army Col. Word Bizzell shared memories of his early school days as well as his appreciation for all in the military in honor of Veteran’s Day.

Bizzell was the guest speaker at the Navarro College Veteran’s Day ceremony, which featured musical selections, an introduction of veterans and their families, and inspiring words about service to country.

Bizzell first served in Korea and left the Army to attend college in California. His appreciation for the services available to the nation’s veterans began then, he said, with help he received from the Veteran’s Club at U.C. Berkley, seeing him through his GI Bill enrollment in college and a helping hand and job until benefits started to arrive a couple of months later.

“It was because of veterans that this college got its start,” Bizzell said, pointing to the history of Navarro College and its formation at the Corsicana Airport in old hangers used for World War II training. He praised the efforts of Navarro, reaching out to veterans now through the Navarro College Veteran’s Organization.

Bizzell returned to the service and spent tours of duty in Viet Nam and southeast Asia, earning numerous awards of merit, including the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars.

Bizzell said the Veteran’s Day observance is “a symbol of appreciation we owe our vets” — an appreciation he said was lacking for many of those who served in Viet Nam and returned to a less than appreciative nation. That, he says, has now changed.

College District President Dr. Richard Sanchez also mentioned the significance of the Veteran’s Day observance, and its importance to the men and women who serve.

Sanchez, himself a veteran recognized Friday, saluted the veterans he called “his brothers and sisters.”

Kay Schipper, advisor for the Navarro College Veteran’s Organization, spoke of the impact that the service has on more than just those who serve in uniform.

“It’s not just the veteran, it’s the family,” she said.

The veteran’s program at Navarro College offers a variety of services for vets attending college, including tutoring, counseling and assistance with financial aid.

“We thank everyone on campus who helps our veterans,” she added. “That means a lot to them.”

Bizzell paid tribute to the old and new veterans in closing.

“To all the old soldiers like me — welcome home. To all the new veterans, thank you, and welcome home,” he said.

The Navarro College Band, Chorale and ASL Class participated in the program, along with the Corsicana High School Air Force Junior ROTC.


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email:

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