New veterans officer finds job a ‘joy’

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2022

When Dwayne Gill, who served for nine years as Lincoln County’s county veteran service officer, first met Kimberly Bright eight years ago at a VFW event, they got along fabulously. After they talked awhile, Bright told Gill to call her first if he ever decided to leave the position.

So that’s just what he did. “I knew she was the right person for the job,” he said of Bright, who is the first female to hold the position.

Though Gill still serves Alcorn County as county veteran service officer, it’s Bright who currently sits at the desk for Lincoln County. She’s been there a month and says she loves it.

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“It’s an opportunity to give back to the community of Lincoln County,” she said. “Being a veteran myself, I understand the differences and downfalls. I want to cultivate these relationships to be able to provide them what they need and with a sense of hope. It brings me joy to be able to do that.”

Bright, who was in the Marine Corps for eight years, also works at Allen, Allen, Breeland & Allen as a billing specialist, serving litigation defense firms. She and her husband, John, have one daughter, Jada, 16, and the family lives in Brookhaven.

“I would like to reiterate that although my active duty to the United States Marine Corps has concluded honorably, my heart is one of service and the journey must continue,” Bright added, with a comment of “once a Marine, always a Marine!”

“This position has provided me the opportunity to serve our veterans of Lincoln County. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community – what better way to serve than that of men and women who’ve sacrificed for our freedom?   To our veterans: For any aid, assistance or questions, please come and see me.”

Bright is from Magnolia, where she attended South Pike High School. She majored in finance at Co-Lin and attended the University of Southern Mississippi.

Bright has served honorably in tours foreign and domestic with III Marine Corps Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; the 2nd FSSG II MEF marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C.; and NAS Naval Air Station in Pensacola, just to name a few.

She has been awarded the National Defense Service Medical, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, the Sea Service Deployment ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct medals and a host of other commendations and letters of appreciation during her tours of service.

“Her experience in the Marine Corps, along with being a small business owner in the community, makes her well suited for the job as county veteran service officer for Lincoln County,” Gill said in a letter to county supervisors urging her employment.

“She will raise the bar and achieve even greater results for the county office,” he added.

Since Bright will spend two days a week in service, VSO office hours have shifted to Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon and by appointment Thursdays 8 a.m. to noon. Call 601-835-3470 for more information.