Hickory – Carolina Caring, the Catawba County Veterans Service Office, and the Hickory Elks Lodge invite the community to participate in a free event recognizing veterans for their great service to our nation on Saturday, November 11 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Hickory.

The program will feature a special address from Brigadier General Kenneth Beard, a decorated veteran who served as Army Chief of Staff at N.C. National Guard Joint Force Headquarters from 2007-2008 and then as the State Director of Intelligence until 2010. He then served in Virginia at U.S. Joint Forces Command, serving as an Exercise Team Chief, J7, U.S. Northern Command and later as the Chief of Collective Training, Joint Staff, J7 until 2013. General Beard returned to North Carolina for a short term, as State G1 at the State Joint Force Headquarters before being promoted to Brigadier General on May 24, 2013. He retired on November 30, 2016, after having served 35 ½ years.

The Hickory Elks Lodge will continue its longstanding tradition presenting the Distinguished Veterans Award and a special presentation to the City of Hickory.

Those attending are encouraged to donate new blankets, socks, sleeping bags, or other cold weather gear that will be given to veterans in need through the Foothills Veterans Helping Veterans, a non-profit, community-based organization that seeks to connect veterans to resources through local agencies.

If you have additional questions, email [email protected] or call 828.466.0466 extension 3201.

Carolina Caring, founded in 1979, is an independent, community-based, non-profit health care provider. They specialize in programs that offer relief from chronic conditions, serious illnesses, and the challenges they bring, including palliative medicine, hospice care, and grief counseling. Currently, Carolina Caring serves 12 counties across western North Carolina and the Piedmont. For more information about Carolina Caring, please call 828.466.0466 or visit CarolinaCaring.org.