Stars & Stripes Salute to Military

Red Cross Mississippi Stas & Stripes 2014

The American Red Cross South Mississippi Chapter is hosting its second annual Stars and Stripes: Salute to the Military event on Thursday, July 24 from 6-10 p.m. at the University of Southern Mississippi Thad Cochran Center Ballroom located at 118 College Drive in Hattiesburg.

Honorees include retired Col. Sheila Varnado, U.S. Army; retired Lt. Col. Raylawni Branch, U.S. Air Force Reserve; retired Lt. Col. Fred Varnado, U.S. Army; and former Staff Sgt. Steven Effa, U.S. Air Force.

In addition to the awards and recognition for each honoree, a keynote address will be given by Major General Buford “Buff” Blount, III (Ret.), U.S. Army. Major General Blount was the Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division, in the spring of 2003 when he led his forces in defeating the Iraqi army and capturing Baghdad after 21 days of continuous fighting.

WDAM-TV News Anchor Mike McDaniel will serve as emcee. The evening will also feature entertainment by Rewind featuring Lady Patrice and a silent auction. Several local restaurants will be on hand serving tastings of their favorite menu items.

  • Tickets are $50 each and may be purchased at the Hattiesburg Red Cross office located at 2020 Hardy Street, or by calling (601) 582-8151.
  • Reserved tables and half-tables are available and include special recognition as an event sponsor and a Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) partner. Tables of 10 are $1000; half-tables of five are $500. For table reservations call (228) 896-3146 or email
  • Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) is one of five Red Cross lines of service. To learn more about how Red Cross supports our military, click to MS Region Service to the Armed Forces.