These days, Edgar A. Brookins, Jr., serves as the general manager of the AFRO’s D.C. office, helping to ensure news coverage of everything from community events to breaking news. But once, he traveled the world as a career military officer.
Since May, Elaine Frye Fuller has worked in the AFRO’s advertising group, serving print and online clients in the DMV, the latest position in a career that began when she donned a military uniform as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves program in 1978.
“I felt compelled to give back by serving my country,” she said.
Brookins and Fuller are among legions of military men and women, active duty, reserve, retired and deceased who will be honored as the nation’s commemorates Veteran’s Day 2013 on Nov. 11. Other AFRO staffers who proudly served their country include Sammy Graham, circulation/distribution manager; Clarence Massey, circulation assistant; William Hargrave, building maintenance assistant; and Cheryl Cooper, circulation database manager.
Several events were scheduled in the days leading up to Veteran’s Day. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Col. Daniel L. Waters, vice commander of the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews on Nov. 8 were scheduled to host a reception for participants of the Veterans History Project at the base. The project, a program of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center, gathers and makes available war veterans’ accounts of their military experiences. The reception was set to honor contributors from Maryland’s 4th Congressional District.
On Nov. 11, a celebration of military veterans will take place at the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum in Northwest Washington, according to museum founder and director Frank Smith. The event, set to kick off at 10 a.m., will begin with a wreath-laying at the memorial at 10th and U Street NW.
Immediately after that, a program will be held at the museum at 1925 Vermont Avenue NW. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton will be the featured speaker and light refreshments will be served.
Brookins was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and later applied and was accepted into Officer Candidate School. During his 21-year career, he served in several command and staff positions both in the U.S. and overseas. He retired in 1990.
He said he spend Veteran’s Day on a local military base with active duty and retired service members, as he always does.
“The fact that we have a Veteran’s Day celebration makes me very proud that our country recognizes the contribution and sacrifices of the men and women in uniform—past, present and future,” he said.
Fuller said she considers her military career the best experience of her lifetime. Her basic training at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Ala., was a pilot three-week program developed to recruit college-educated women. Her training was five weeks less than the standard eight-week course, but Fuller and the other women in her company were required to successfully complete the same end of cycle basic training physical, tactical and aptitude tests.
During her career as a reservist, she held key administrative positions at various command and staff levels before becoming a public affairs officer. In this capacity, she was selected above her peers and traveled extensively to support various commands and Army operations both domestically and internationally. Fuller, the recipient of numerous military decorations, awards and recognitions for exemplary performance and outstanding service, retired as a colonel.
For more information about the African American Civil War Museum event, call 202-667-2667.