By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
'Honoring, remembering'
Memorial Day program 11 a.m. Monday
Navy veterans Bob Marsh, left, and George Sterling place a wreath in front of the Vietnam memorial at Triangle Park during a downtown Wreath Ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 90 on Friday in advance of Memorial Day. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Statesboro’s American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 invites the public to join together in honoring the community’s local heroes during Monday’s 2024 Memorial Day Observance. 

Retired U.S. Army Major Jeff Odegaard will be the keynote speaker for the annual event held inside the Averitt Center for the Arts.

The program, which begins with a musical performance from Isaac Sherrod at 10:30 a.m., will begin at 11 a.m. 

During the introductory music, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office will post the colors. Lisa Muldrew will sing the National Anthem, followed by Post 90 Commander Gary Martin welcoming guests and Post 90 Chaplain Mark Skarhus then offering the opening prayer. 

Folks in the Bulloch County area may be familiar with Odegaard. He served as senior Army instructor at Southeast Bulloch High School for 12 years. The Yellow Jacket Battalion was named an Honor Unit of Distinction for all 12 years and earned 11 state championships in Drill and two titles in Raiders. 

Also, more than 50 students entered military service during his tenure at SEB.

Odegaard served under numerous commands after joining the Army in 1986.

As a major, he served as an assistant operations officer for the 32d Army Air Missile Defense Command, including a deployment to the Combined Air Operations Center in Saudi Arabia, where Odegaard helped target ballistic missiles during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. He also served in Baghdad with the Third Infantry Division as the liaison officer to 18th Airborne Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Major Odegaard holds a Bachelor's of Arts from North Central Bible College in Minneapolis. 

Major Odegaard holds a Bachelor's of Arts from North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minn. His military education includes Officer Candidate School, Combined Arms Services Staff School, The Airborne School and the US Army Ranger School. 

Jeff Odegaard, third from left, is shown with the Southeast Bulloch rifle team in 2022. A retired U.S. Army major, Odegaard will offer the keynote address at Monday's annual Memorial Day Observance inside the Averitt Center at 11 a.m.

Also, he has been recognized with numerous awards during his military service, including the Bronze Star for Service, the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Ranger Tab.


After the prayer, Post Senior Vice-Commander Charles “Skip” Campbell will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Averitt Center Director Robert Faller will welcome guests. 

A letter from a grieving mother will be read by Tara Dunn-Ofray and will be followed by observation of the entombing of fallen veterans of Bulloch County who lost their lives in World War I and II, (Atlantic and Pacific Theater); the Korean War, Vietnam War and the Iraq/Afghanistan War and other current hostilities. 

Odegaard will then offer his keynote address.

The Memorial Day Observance is hosted by the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 and Averitt Center for the Arts. It is supported and sponsored by Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens and various local businesses and individuals. 

Also, veterans and others in attendance at Monday’s observance are invited to the Legion Post on Rucker Lane in Statesboro for hamburgers and hot dogs.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter