CRESTVIEW — A Niceville man received VIP treatment Thursday when he received a top honor from the Hub City.
George Atwell, 67, had a distinguished U.S. Army career that earned him a "Commendation of Respect" proclamation from the city of Crestview.
Atwell, a longtime Niceville resident, spent 18 years in the military, including a Vietnam tour and three-year deployment to Germany. He volunteers as a service officer at the Disabled American Veterans office in Niceville; there, Atwell — whose wife, Carolyn, teaches at Davidson — helps veterans fill out paperwork to apply for disability benefits.
But on this day, he was ready to help students with a few words of wisdom.
"If you have confidence in yourselves, you can accomplish anything," Atwell told students, who gave a standing ovation after his speech.
Atwell is active with several Davidson functions and sporting events, Assistant Principal Kelli Howard said.
"We knew that he was a veteran and we thought it would be nice to honor someone that is in our Davidson family,” she said.
Davidson students packed the school gymnasium Thursday morning to pay tribute to military veterans during their Veterans Day assembly. The school band and chorus performed several patriotic songs for past and present military service members.
"I am very proud of what the students did here," Atwell said. "I wish all veterans had the opportunity to be part of this.
"It was very inspirational and patriotic.”
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.