On Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Wichita Airport, KPTS-Channel 8 will recognize three outstanding veterans and one local business at Veterans Coming Home: Salute & Awards Banquet 2018.
At the banquet, KPTS will recognize three veterans from South Central Kansas who served their country and are making a difference in our community, as well as one local business that advocates and provides resources for local veterans.
This year’s Salute & Awards Banquet keynote speakers will be Rear Admiral Jeffrey Penfield and Kate and Jim Lehrer.
Tickets are $100 each or $175 for two seats. VIP Meet & Greet seats are $150 each or two for $275. However, veterans who would like to attend but do not have the means may be able to get a seat that has been paid for by sponsors. (See information below.)
Veterans Coming Home is part of a national PBS initiative to connect veterans with resources when they come home.
About the Keynote Speakers
Rear Admiral Jeffrey Penfield (USN, Ret.) was commissioned in October 1984 via the Aviation Officer Candidate Program and earned his Navy Wings of Gold in June 1984.
His operational assignments include Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA 136) as a plankowner; VFA-94, and command of VFA-115. While in command, he deployed on the maiden F/A-18E Super Hornet cruise participating in Operation Enduring Freedom operation Southern Watch and the initial combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His shore tour assignments include Training Squadron (VT-23), Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 5, the Super Hornet Fleet Introduction Team and VX-9 where he was the lead operation test director for the F/A-18E/F operational evaluation. Penfield has over 4,000 flight hours and 750 carrier landings.
He has been recognized as the 1995 Commander, Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet Pilot of the Year and the National Defense Industrial Association Navy Military Tester of the Year for 1999.
He has been awarded the Legion of Merit (two times), the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (three times), Air Medal (six times), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four times) and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Awards.
Penfield retired in September 2016, and is currently involved with several veteran-related, non-profit organizations including serving as the Chairman of the USS Wichita Commissioning Committee.
In addition to the Admiral, Jim and Kate Lehrer will also be attending the banquet.
Jim Lehrer was born in Wichita and in September 1983 he helped launch, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour on PBS. After he retired in in 2009, the show became the PBS NewsHour.
Kate Lehrer is a writer, novelist and book reviewer. She was selected by the Secretary of the Navy to be the USS Wichita’s Ship Sponsor. Her duties include not only the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the ship’s bow, but she is also is expected to remain in contact with the ship’s crew and be involved in special events throughout the life of the ship.
Purchase a VIP ticket, and you’ll get to meet the Admiral and Lehrers, or purchase a regular ticket and hear their remarks at the banquet.
Contact Phil Richardson at 316-838-3090 or [email protected] if you know of a veteran who would like to attend, but does not have the means to do so.
Tickets to Veterans Coming Home: Salute & Awards Banquet in Wichita can be purchased online at www.kpts.org or over the phone at 316-838-3090 by Thursday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m.