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Student competes at FCCLA National Leadership Conference

More than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni and guests from across the country gathered recently in San Antonio for the 2014 National Leadership Conference. The conference is based on the student-originated theme “SOAR.” White Hall High School students Corin Reed and Candace Casey along with their advisers Mika Bishop and Sheri Deaton, were among them.

Medal Presentation

Shown in the accompanying photo is Arkansas 2nd District Congressman Tim Griffin (at far right) presenting the Army Good Condct Medal to Peter Smykla. Smykla’s wife, son-in-law and grandchildren are seen to the left in the photo. “Fifty-six years ago a 24-year old soldier was discharged from the Army after serving with the Military Assistance Advisory Group on Taiwan. Specialist 3 Peter Smykla was awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal when he was discharged from the Army, but never received it. That oversight was rectified at the Hot Springs Arlington Hotel recently. Smykla, chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Committee, was attending the State Committee Meeting. Congressman Tim Griffin, a serving U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel, JAG, presented the medal to Smykla after Party Chairman Doyle Webb read the award citation authorized by then Secretary of the Army Wilber Marion Brucker. “The United States Army has awarded the Good Conduct Medal to Specialist 3 Peter Joseph Smykla, Junior, for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active federal military service from 11 January 1956 to 24 December 1957.” The presentation was a suprise arranged by county committee members after they learned Smykla never received his medal.

A spiritual quest?

I am walking across the desert in a red robe. Beneath my feet, sand sparkles and ripples, as if it were lovely waves of windswept sea. I don't have the slightest idea what waits ahead.