Retired Tuskegee airmen speaks at military recognition day

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COLUMBIA -  A retired Tuskegee airmen spoke at Columbia College's Military Recognition Day.

Retired Col. Charles McGee was one of the first Tuskegee airmen to serve in World War II. He then served for 30 years in the military, also fighting in Korea and Vietnam. The Columbia alum was asked to speak and give scholarships in his name.

"It's a good opportunity to talk with the younger generation," McGee said. "We don't want them to repeat our mistakes, but I want them to be aware of what has happened."

McGee gave two $1,000 scholarships, which went to two veterans: U.S. Air Force veteran Candace Woodson and U.S. Army veteran Orlando Campus. One of the scholarship presenters, retired Command Sergeant Mike Lederle, said McGee is one of the most distinguished Columbia graduates. 

"Ever since I got here two years ago, he's been an incredible mentor and a friend for all of our service members," Lederle said.

In addition to McGee's scholarships, three other scholarships were awarded.