GALLIPOLIS — The guest speaker for the 2018 Gallia Veterans Day Ceremony in Gallipolis City Park will be Pastor Michael Giese of the New Life Lutheran Church.
Giese is a U.S. Army veteran, who attended basic training at Fort Sill and (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston where he received training as a combat medic. Serving with the 11th Brigade, 3/43rd ADA (Patriot), he was deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1994 in support of Operation Quick Response. Upon his return to the U.S., he served as an eye specialist at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, and later at Basset Army Community Hospital in Fort Wainright, Alaska.
According to a release from the Gallia County Veterans Services Office, after the First Gulf War, Giese felt compelled to move from “healing bodies to healing souls.”
When he grated from seminary in 2006, he was assigned to the 634th Brigade Support Battalion in Illinois, and in 2008, served at Arsic-West Chaplain, in charge of 42,000 square miles along the border of Iran in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to the U.S. in September 2009 after service nine and a half months at Camp Stone, Afghanistan.
In 2010 to 2013, he was a chaplain for the 407th Civil Affairs Battalion in Arden Hills, Minnesota, and the 445th Civil Affais Battalion in Mountain View, California. During his service he earned the Southwest Asian Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Service Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Ribbon, Army Commendation Medal (third award) and the Army Achievement Medal (second award).
He has ministered as a pastor and chaplain for 10 years, most recently serving a parish southwest of Houston, Texas. He is currently the pastor at New Life Lutheran Church in Gallipolis and is married to his wife, Misty. They have two children, Justin and Amber.
Giese originally went on duty as a U.S. Army medic to deal with injured soldiers, including those who suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder. In the last few years, the release says Giese feels the military has encouraged veterans to find help as a source of strength and continues to inspire such efforts.
The Veterans Day Parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, followed by the program in Gallipolis City Park, beginning at 1 p.m.