The Rev. Dwight Amey, Dr. Frank Berry and Air Force Lt. Col. Nathan "Nate" Smith will be honored for their service to the community and their country during Monday's 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.
A celebration march, starting at the Amtrak station at 324 W. 24th St. and ending at the Merced County Fairgrounds at 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, will begin the day's activities. Inside the exhibit building at the fairgrounds, the celebration will continue with a multi-ethnic program featuring local children, youth groups, choirs and speakers.
Amey has been pastor at New Faith Tabernacle Christian Church for 34 years. He has conducted revivals and marriage seminars across the United States, and in Germany, Japan and Turkey. He is a past member of the Merced City Council and was recently honored with the naming of Dwight Amey Neighborhood Park.
Smith is commander of the 452nd Flight Test Squadron and director of unmanned aircraft systems at Edwards Air Force Base. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he also headed the unit in Washington, D.C., in charge of acquiring the nation's fighter planes. Smith is an experimental test pilot and has been stationed on bases throughout the United States, Korea and Italy. He led a multi-national air strike over Iraq and flew more than 50 combat missions.
Berry is a dermatologist and past president of the Merced-Mariposa County Medical Society. He served in the Air Force for 20 years, including three years as commander of the hospital at Castle Air Force Base. He was honored for heroism for his service in Vietnam, where he rescued a wounded airman from a crash site as munitions exploded around him.