Skip to content

Nov. 12—Wilson County’s annual Veterans Day Parade was scheduled to weave its way through the streets of Lebanon on Friday morning.

However, Mother Nature had other ideas.

With rain canceling this year’s parade, a shortened celebration still took place in the Wilson County Veterans Plaza as a local veteran addressed the community.

Dr. George Robertson, 81, has lived and worked in Lebanon as a general surgeon since 1974.

“I may have taken your kid’s tonsils out or fixed your dad’s hernia,” Robertson jokingly said. “Many of you in the community may know me a little more personally than you would like.”

At 18 years old, Robertson signed up for the draft. When he went to college, he received an exemption from a program that allowed him and other young men to be deferred from the current draft while completing college and professional training.

After four years of college, four years of medical school and four years of residency, Robertson began serving as chief of surgery and chief medical officer at the Webb Air Force Base Hospital in Big Spring, Texas, in 1972.

“I mentioned that I didn’t feel qualified to make this talk, because I haven’t lost a limb,” Robertson said. “I haven’t had any front-line experience in the active duty. You would think that I hadn’t lost anything in the service to my country, but I did lose something. I didn’t lose a limb or a life, but I lost a wife.”

Robertson said that he and his wife had no family nor friends in Texas, and that they had to adjust to different moral standards. When he returned from Texas, he came back without a wife due to a divorce.

“Today, I want to celebrate you,” Robertson said. “I want to eulogy you. I want to honor you, I want to congratulate you, I want to extol you and all those who have done this remarkable thing we call America.”

During Friday morning’s ceremony, a new monument commemorating the Second Army Maneuvers’ impact on Middle Tennessee during World War II was unveiled at the veterans plaza.