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Autry State Prison Hosts Annual Veterans Day Celebration

Gregory C. Dozier
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Kasandra Ortiz
Contact Email:
November 9, 2017

Autry State Prison Hosts Annual Veterans Day Celebration

Staff, offenders and civilians received honors and motivating speech

FORSYTH, Ga. -- On November 8, Autry State Prison (SP) held their annual Veterans Day celebration hosted at the facility located in Pelham, Ga, in honor of staff, offenders and civilians who have served in the military. Captain Donnie Cochran was the special guest speaker at the event. Cochran was the first African American pilot to fly in the Blue Angels and served as Commander and Flight Leaders, and was the leaders of the United States Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron.

“We were honored that Captain Cochran shared his inspiring story with our staff and offenders,” said Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “We are thankful that we have these opportunities to celebrate with our veterans who fought so bravely to defend and protect our great nation.”

Approximately 175 veterans received a certificate of appreciation for their service. Those veterans included Autry SP Warden Walter Berry, Captain Cochran and former Dougherty County Commissioner, Arthur Williams. About 50 employees from various departments, who could not be in attendance, were also awarded a certificate. There were also 125 offenders at Autry SP who were acknowledged. Those offenders either attended the celebration or participated in the program as musicians, electronic technicians, assisted with compiling the program and some shared their experience of service. About 40 other civilians, staff members and special guests attended the program. Each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces was represented except the U.S. Coast Guard.

The GDC has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees.

For more information on the GDC call 478-992-5248 or visit

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