In one of our most profound school traditions, the entire student body was privileged to honor more than 120 military veterans in chapel! All MPCS families in attendance were moved by the words of guest speaker and Vietnam veteran Dr. Mel Pender, U.S. Army Captain, Bronze Star recipient, and Olympic Gold Medalist in track.
Dr. Pender shared with the packed house his experiences of enlisting in the U.S. Army at age 17, serving for 21 years, ultimately retiring at the rank of captain. Dr. Pender was noted for his athleticism during his time in the military and took up track at the age of 25. He was selected to the 1964 Olympic Team, as well as the 1968 Olympic Team, where, at the age of 31, he earned a Gold Medal as part of the American relay team. He set several world records. After the 1968 Olympics, Dr. Pender was the first black head track coach at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also earned a bachelor's degree from Adelphi University. Dr. Pender's message of patriotism and unity was inspiring to all.
We are thankful for and pray blessings over Dr. Pender and all of our service men and women!
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