A man who helped build a military hospital that once treated General George S. Patton will speak Friday during the annual Veteran’s Day program at the Emma Kelley Theater in the Averitt Center for the Arts.
Burtt “Hawkeye” Higgins, 92, a retired major with the United States Army, will be the keynote speaker for the event hosted by the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90.
Higgins, who served during World War II and helped construct the 51st Station Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1942, plans to speak about his stint in the army. He was a second lieutenant when he helped build the hospital, and was with that hospital in a station in Casa Blanca, Africa, when Patton was treated for injuries.
Born in 1919 in Hagansport, Iowa, Higgins was raised on a farm and entered the Army right out of college. The
military sent him to medical school, then to Michigan to help set up the hospital.
Upon retiring from a hospital consulting business in Pennsylvania, he moved to Statesboro 20 years ago after a visit with a cousin who lived in the city.
The Veteran’s Day program will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 (11/11/11) with an opening comment from American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90 member Dan Foglio, who organized the event, and from Post 90 Commander Tom Barnard.
Chaplain Charlie Williams will offer a prayer, followed by a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Don Poe. Russ Lanier will perform the National Anthem.
Statesboro Arts Council President Theresa Beebe-Novotny will then welcome guests, and Tom Armstrong will deliver a message from the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter.
Judge William J. Neville will introduce Higgins.
Preliminary music will be performed by Dr. Michael Braz and Russ Lanier as visitors are seated.
Foglio reminds veterans to see him as they leave the program, to obtain certificates for a free meal for veterans at RJ’s Steaks and Seafood after the ceremony.
The event is sponsored by the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90; Averitt center for the Arts; Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home; Hodges-Moore Funeral Home and Chik-Fil-A.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.