Speaker's Cir­cuit

El Dorado News-Times - - Obituaries -

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.

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