Members of an organization which develops future leaders in the Hattiesburg area have reached out to honor veterans and encourage local businesses to hire them.
The Area Development Partnership's Leadership Pinebelt Class of 2013 hosted a special breakfast Friday at Temple Baptist Church.
It was called, "Project Pancake" and the goal was to recognize veterans in the workforce and honor veteran-owned businesses. The event also raised money for the veterans support programs of Oak Arbor.
Keynote speaker was Mississippi Supreme Court presiding justice and U.S. Army veteran Michael K. Randolph.
"It's people who've gone before us and people serving today that allows us to enjoy our basic freedoms, like faith, family, friends and all that and sometimes, people forget that," said Randolph. "And I just wanted to remind them, just like I have to remind myself, to say thank you and make an extra effort to try and assist these vets," he said.
"There are a lot of guys coming back struggling with (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) or trying to find work, trying to make that adjustment from military life to civilian life and Oak Arbor has programs that can help people in that respect," said Paxton Lowery, a member of Leadership Pinebelt.
He said the event met the fund raising goal of $10,000.