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Pittsburg native to be keynote speaker at Veterans Day ceremony

Pittsburg State University Veteran's Memorial
Pittsburg State University Veteran's Memorial

Major Kellie Triplett, a Pittsburg native who went on to a varied and impactful career in the U.S. Army and as a veterinarian, will be the keynote speaker at Pittsburg State University’s Veterans Day ceremony.

It is planned for 1 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the PSU Veterans Memorial, 1909 S. Rouse Ave. The annual event is presented as a civics lesson for local sixth graders and is open to the public.

Dr. Triplett initially enlisted in the Army as a parachute rigger and packed for the jump school at Ft. Benning, Georgia. While stationed there, she was a member of The Silver Wings, the Command Exhibition Skydiving Team.

She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Pittsburg State University, a master’s in public health from the University of South Florida, and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University.

Dr. Triplett’s career has been varied and includes serving as a commissioned officer in the Military Police Corps, a telecommunications specialist with La Petite Corporation, and a veterinary corps officer who oversaw the Ft. Bragg Veterinary Clinic. She also worked for the Defense Logistics Agency in Philadelphia and was the officer in charge of the Department of Defense Food Analysis and Diagnostic Lab at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.

She has been deployed to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor and was stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany, during which time she was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

After retirement in 2019, Dr. Triplett started working for Happy Paws Mobile Vet Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado — a non-profit spay and neuter clinic that supports the 501(c)3 registered rescue groups in the Colorado Springs area.

About the ceremony

In addition to Triplett’s keynote address, PSU President Dan Shipp will offer remarks, as will Kathleen Flannery, vice president for university advancement.

PSU ROTC will play a role in the ceremony, as will the St. Mary’s Elementary School Choir. Veterans for whom pavers have been installed will be recognized.

An invocation and benediction will be given by Anthony Navaratnam, executive pastor at FLAG Church.

In the event of rain or inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Student Recreation Center directly south of the memorial.

The ceremony will be recorded and available for viewing on demand later that day and any time after that on the university’s YouTube channel ( and Vimeo channel (

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.