HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) celebrated the life of a military veteran Monday at the campus' Veterans Center.
Major General Rex Dettre served in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam war and military officials wanted to recognize his courageous service.
“He was captured, in two of those events, two of those wars, and his wife Betty donated some artifacts to the center" said Veteran's Center Director Jeff Hammond.
He continued, "We created a plaque and put it up, to serve as a reminder to our young students, that there is a job to do, let’s do it well.”
Major General Dettre joined
the California National Guard at the young age of 15, and at 18 was accepted into West Point.
His wife Betty Dettre, makes it her mission to highlight those who bravely wore the uniform. “So many items I see nowadays in junk shops, the ribbons and things, and the grandchildren selling things on Ebay, and I just didn’t want those items to be out there for collectors.”
Hammond and Betty said they hope Major General Dettre's service is an inspiration to the 1,300 military students on campus.
Hammond said, " Might cause them to pause for one second, and each day just maybe think about what he stood for.”
"So many people don’t go up to military and thank them and their wives for all that they do for our country" Betty added.
Both said his 33 years of service will never be forgotten. “A man like him…he is the credentials of this nation" added Hammond.
The community can see his plaque at the Veterans center.