William "Bill" Bates to speak at annual Veterans Day event
Mitchell Community College will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11 a.m. on the Circle of Statesville Campus. The guest speaker will be William “Bill” Bates, pastor at Love Valley Presbyterian Church, Mitchell Community College Student Ambassador, second-year student and United States Air Force veteran. All veterans, students, faculty, staff and community are invited to attend. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in Shearer Hall which is located in the Main Building on the Statesville Campus.
Bill Bates graduated from Portland, Connecticut High School in May of 1965 and in March of the following year enlisted in the United States Air Force. His basic training took place at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, followed by Air Police Tec School. Part of his Air Police training included combat training at Camp Bullis, which is a U.S. Army Training Base located outside of San Antonio. After training, Bates was assigned to SAC Air Police at Amarillo Air Force Base in Texas where he served two years in the Air Police and then cross-trained to illustrator, then transferred to Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts. In 1969 he was stationed in Guam for six months working in Intelligence, which included briefing B52 crews for bomb runs over Vietnam. He was discharged in 1970 from Westover Air Force Base and stayed in Massachusetts working as a commercial artist, and various other jobs until 1991 when he and his wife, Pam moved to North Carolina.
After moving to Statesville, Bates worked at Bartlett Milling for 22 years. During this time, he took welding classes at Mitchell and retired at 63 years old. After retiring, he completed a series of online courses from Dubuque Theological Seminary in order to become a Commissioned Lay Pastor in the Presbyterian Church. He currently serves as Pastor for Love Valley Presbyterian Church, and is a second-year student at Mitchell Community College.