O’Charley’s restaurant  veterans

Local veteran Charley Watson (center) shakes hands with Police Chief Mark Yother during  a recognition ceremony at O’Charley’s  by CEO Craig Barber and Mayor Lonnie Norman. 

Manchester veteran and chaplain Charley Watkins was honored Tuesday, April 30 at O’Charley’s restaurant with a proclamation by Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman and recognition by Craig Barber, President of O’Charley’s and CEO of its parent company, ABRH.

The honor follows a social media promotional search for customers who shared the names with the restaurant founder Charles “Charley” Watkins Jr., who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. The local Charley Watkins is a veteran, as was the restaurant’s founder. The local Watkins served a chaplain for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

During the ceremony that included a posting of the colors by the Coffee County Central High School JROTC, Norman recognized Watkin’s service during the Vietnam War and shared the gratitude of the city.

Watkins dined quietly after the ceremony at the restaurant with family, friends and fellow members of the sheriff’s department.

On May 18, active and retired members of the Franklin County and Coffee County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments and county residents with a valid military ID will be invited to the Manchester restaurant to enjoy a complimentary meal from the “Thank You Menu" where they can choose select “20 Meals Under $10” meals on May 18.

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. He covers Lifestyles in addition to handling education reporting and general news assignments.John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

Staff Writer

John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. He is a graduate of THS, Motlow and MTSU. He lives in Tullahoma, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, Mitsy, and his 17-month-old, Sean.

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