2020 Clay County Veterans of the Year to be honored during Tuesday, Board of Selectmen Meeting

By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

In spite of COVID-19, causing the cancellation of the annual Veteran's Day event, the 2020 Clay County Veterans of the Year will be honored during the West Point Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday, Nov. 10, upstairs at City Hall. Veterans William E. “Buck” Buchanan and Michael A. Weaver will be honored for their service.

Rev. William E. “Buck” Buchanan
Buchanan was born in 1929 in Garden Grove, California to John R. and Elizabeth J. Buchanan. His dad worked around the country building many large Corps of Engineers Projects. He moved his family to South Louisiana where Buchanan graduated from high school in New Orleans in 1946.
He immediately volunteered for the U.S. Army. Private Buchanan served one year in the Occupation Force in Japan under Command of General of the Army MacArthur. He was based near Nagasaki and toured the aftermath of the destruction of the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” on Nagasaki.
Upon release from active duty, he went back to New Orleans and attended Tulane University. In 1950 he was recalled to service for the Korean War. Serving in a Chemical Detachment, he attended an Army Chemical Course in Maryland where he met his wife Barbara on a blind date. She was a student at Maryland College for Women.
After his second release from the military, Buchanan went back to college and graduated from LSU at Lafayette in Civil Engineering and began work in 1954 with the Corps of Engineers at Vicksburg for four years. In 1958, after establishing the design criteria of the Columbus Air Force Base airfield, the Air Force offered him a job. After 30 years of service, including being promoted to Base Engineer at Columbus Air Force Base, Buck retired.
After having back surgery, he was laid up for three months and went back to work at the Air Base much sooner than the doctors predicted. During those three months, Buchanan said that the Holy Spirit laid on his heart to begin a jail ministry. Upon retiring, he did. He became ordained and began a ministry at the Mississippi Prison at Parchman.
He undertook a full prison ministry and established Zoe Prison Ministry with twenty personnel assisting. Reverend Buchanan administered the first communion service on the Maximum-Security
 Ward at Parchman.
He and wife Barbara were married in 1952. Barbara passed away in 2018. Their three children are Burnette Avakian, Reverend Mark Buchanan, and Robin Foster. Buck and Barbara were also blessed with six Grandchildren and twelve Great-Grandchildren.

Michael A. Weaver
Michael A. Weaver is a lifelong resident of West Point. He was graduated from West Point High School in 1985 and had already enlisted in the United States Army in December of 1984.
While on Active Duty, Michael underwent Field Artillery training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma as a cannoneer. His first assignment was in the 24th Infantry Division, commanded by General Norman Schwarzkopf. The Army transferred him to an overseas tour with the 1st Armored Division, “Old Ironsides,” in Bamberg, Germany. His last tour was with the 197th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia. He left Active Duty as a Sergeant.
At home, Weaver worked with Lieutenant Colonel (R) Dave Schilling at Dave’s BBQ. He immediately joined the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 223rd Engineer Battalion in West Point in the Houston Company’s Asphalt Platoon. A friend talked Sergeant Weaver into transferring to the Battalion Mess Section where he learned how to cook and supervise those soldiers in the section. Sergeant Weaver served 5 ½ years with the 223rd .
Weaver has worked with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department since 2009 in the operation of the County Jail.
Sheriff Eddie Scott said that Weaver is a dedicated and very valuable employee. He also works with the City of West Point Parks and Recreation Department.
Weaver is an active member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church as an usher and performing custodian/maintenance work. He is the son of Bessie W. Schaffer. He is married to the former Theresa Caldwell of West Point. They have six children; son TieRicko and daughters Chelsei Weaver, Kelsei Bean, Teonte Young, Mikkel Weaver and Mariah Weaver. Michael and Theresa are also blessed with four Grandchildren.

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