Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thank You from Wayland Mitchell

After graduation from J.C. Price High School, I attended N.C. A&T State University and then left school to join the U.S. Air Force, serving my country with tours in Georgia, Vietnam, Germany, Greece, Nebraska, Virginia and Alaska. I retired from the Air Force at age 39 and started my second career working for the federal government, retiring again at age 55.
I must say that the road wasn’t easy for me during those years at all. There were many rough spots and hurdles to jump in my quest for achievement. Life also has brought me my share of sorrows along with joy. Being the only member of my Salisbury family remaining, I am blessed with a wonderful wife, and God also blessed us with three successful children, seven grandkids and four great-grandkids. We lost Maurice, our firstborn, in January of this year.
My accomplishments which life has bestored upon me would never have taken place had it not been for my principal, teachers and staff who helped me established the foundation and prepared me for the many challenges which I’ve faced.  I have been truly thankful for Mrs. Abna Lancaster, Mrs. Doris Jones and Miss Eunice Powers.  
My Mother was my strength and is still the vehicle by which I run and operate the engine within me. Whatever it is that I’ve become today was made possible through her guidance and teachings. I give God the glory and Mama, my wife, Aunt Katie Tillman and the teachers at J.C. Price High School the credit.
I was looking forward to reuniting again for the 50-year celebration of our class’s graduation, but it didn’t happen. We have lost many of our classmates through the years and those of us who are still above ground should realize that, “We don’t know what day it’ll be when there will be no tomorrow.”
I feel blessed to have made it to see the day of 6 June 2011 which was the day we left our school. I will be celebrating my 14th year in September of being cancer free.
From where I started and where life has taken me on my journey, I truly have been blessed.
Wayland Mitchell, Anchorage, Alaska