Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Army sergeant, GHS grad to speak at school Veteran’s Day program

A U.S. Army sergeant, who was in the Pentagon during 9-11, and a 2003 graduate of Gothenburg High School will speak at the school Veteran’s Day program next week.

Veterans, their families and the public are invited to the event that begins at 1 p.m. in the south gym of Gothenburg High School.

Harry F. Byrd. Jr., was in the Pentagon when it was attacked by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

An Emporia, VA, native, Byrd joined the Army after graduation and served with the Third U.S. Infantry, or “Old Guard,” which serves as the official escort to the president.

He also served as the non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) in the protocol office of the Secretary of Defense and as NCOIC of legislative affairs for the office of the assistant secretary of defense

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Byrd was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, at the headquarters of the U.S. European Command, J-5, joint contact team program as the NCOIC of administration and personnel.

The progam had teams of personnel from all U.S. military services, serving in each of the former Warsaw Pact and Soviet satellite countries to improve contact between them and the United States.

Byrd served at the Pentagon as the NCOIC of administrative/personnel for the headquarters department of the Army, office of the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Army, security and safety directorate.

There, he was responsible for all administrative and personnel operations pertaining to the Central United States (NATO) Registry, the Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) personnel security division, the HQDA physical security division and the HQDA safety branch.

Now serving as the deputy chief of technical security for the HQDA, office of the deputy chief of staff, Byrd’s office is responsible for the development of Army policy involving secure communications.

Byrd has received numerous awards and has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Park University and a master’s degree in general administration from Central Michigan University.

He lives in Springfield, VA, with his wife and son.

Also speaking will be Captain Heather (Yancy) Fornasier, who has been stationed at Offut Air Force Base in Bellevue for the past year.

Fornasier was part of the Air Force ROTC program at Doane College where she received a biology degree in 2007. She’s working on a master’s degree in public health from American Military University.

Previously stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, Fornasier has served overseas in the country of Qatar in the Middle East.

She will be deployed to Liberia in Africa in December.

Fornasier is the daughter of Peg and Dan Yancy of Gothenburg.