Wayne Community College will have its annual Veterans Celebration Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium in the Wayne Learning Center in the main building.

The speaker will be retired Army First Sgt. Sylvania Wilkerson Sr., a Purple Heart recipient, who will talk about the importance of remembering the service of others.

He enlisted in the Army at the age of 17, and served in the Korean War. He returned to civilian life and reenlisted two more times.

Wilkerson fought in Vietnam, where he was shot down three times. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the first of those helicopter crashes and gun battles.

His duty stations included Fort Sheridan, Ill., Fort Knox, Ky., and Fort Bragg.

After 22 years in the military, Wilkerson retired from the 5th Special Forces in 1975.

He is currently the commander of Goldsboro Chapter 657 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and judge advocate of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Department of North Carolina.

Wilkerson is active in the community, serving with organizations such as Crime Stoppers and Foster Grandparents.

Also participating in the Veterans Celebration will be employees of Wayne Community College and the Wayne County sheriff's honor guard.

A reception with refreshments will follow the program.

In addition to the celebration, the college will also host a Military and Partners Expo in the atrium of the Wayne Learning Center from noon to 3 p.m. that same day. It is open to the public.

Veterans' groups, service branch representatives and organizations that provide services to military members will have displays and provide information.

For more information about either program, call the college at 919-739-7002.