Melissa Parnell, Thomas Grey and Rex Thomen will be the speakers when the Rotary Club meets at noon Monday at St. Mary’s Parish Hall.
The trio will speak about what the military (National Guard and recruiters) do in El Dorado.
Arkansas National Guard Family Assistance Spc. Melissa Parnell is native of Union County. She graduated from Junction City High School and has worked for the Arkansas National Guard State Family Program Office for eight years as a civilian contractor. Prior to working for the Arkansas National Guard, Parnell was a receptionist/secretary for First Baptist Church of El Dorado. She volunteers on the Agape Fundraising Committee, Project South Military Ministry and is a church greeter at Immanuel Baptist Church. Parnell has been married for 20 years to Rodney Parnell and they have one son, Bradley, 19, who attends Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia pursuing a degree in business management.
Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Grey of the 800th MP Army Reserve is a native of New Orleans who enlisted in the Army and began his Army Basic Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, on Jan.23, 1994. His current duty assignment is with the 800th Military Police Company (CS) El Dorado as the operations sergeant. Grey held various leadership positions that included squad leader, shop forman, patrol supervisor, (Team Level) operations sergeant, detainee operations compound NCO, platoon sergeant duties and currently serves as the units’ operations NCOIC. Grey’s awards and decorations include: 4-Army Commendation Medal, 4-Army Achievement Medal, 4-Army Good Conduct Medal, 2-Army Reserve Commendation Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (with a bronze star), Iraq Campaign Medal (with 3 bronze star), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with ‘M’ device, NCO Professional Development (with numeral 3), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Army Reserve Component Training Medal.
Arkansas National Guard Recruiting and Retention Commander Maj. Rex Thomen was born on Nov. 4, 1967, in Memphis. He is a graduate of Whitehaven High School in Memphis and graduated with a bachelor of science in applied sciences in radiology
from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and master of arts in education from University of Louisville in 2017. Thomen joined the Arkansas National Guard in 1999 at C CO, 39th Brigade Support Battalion (Charlie Med) as a combat medic and radiology tech. In October 2001, he deployed with 2-153rd Infantry Battalion as a combat medic to the Sinai Peninsula in support of the war effort. In 2004, he completed Officer Candidate program, and was commissioned as a chemical officer, and was assigned as the platoon leader, Chemical Recon Platoon, 39th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. In 2006, he would deploy with HHB 2-142 Field Artillery, assigned as area reaction force platoon leader, covering Kuwait and southern border of Iraq. On completion of the Maneuver Captain Career Course becoming Infantry qualified, he would accept a full time Active Guard position in the National Guard with the 61st Civil Support Team, Weapons of Mass Destruction Team on Camp Robinson. In 2016, after promotion to major, he would become the Assistant Professor of Military Science for Harding University in Searcy, and Arkansas State University in Beebe. He is currently assigned as the commander, Alpha
Company, Recruiting and Retention Battalion on Camp Robinson. Thomen and his wife, Wanda, live in Jacksonville, Arkansas, with their children, Myranda and Conner.
Garret Kent will be the speaker when the Kiwanis Club meets at noon Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church.
Kent, golf professional at El Dorado Country Club, will give an update on golf at the country club and the Kiwanis Golf Tournament Committee members will discuss the upcoming Southern Bancorp Kiwanis Golf Tournament, which is a two-person scramble that will be held May 12 at El Dorado Country Club.