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Posts Tagged ‘veterans day’

Keuka College Student Club Donation Aids Honor Flight

Thanks to the efforts of the student members of the Keuka College Veterans Club, a local veteran will be able to participate in an Honor Flight from Rochester to Washington, D.C. in the spring.

Left to right, Bob Johnston, former Marine and director of AVI Food Systems on campus, Denise Duby, mother of a Marine and member of the KC advancement staff, Andy Swarthout, Siobhan Costain '17, Laurie Adams '83, club advisor and assistant director of alumni and family relations, Rich Martin '05, club advisor, a U.S. Army veteran, and program director of the (ASAP) criminal justice program.

Honor Flight Rochester is one of 130 hubs in a national network which enables members of the military who served during WWII, the Korean, Vietnam or Cold Wars, to travel free of charge to Washington, D.C. to visit the monuments and memorials honoring their service. The non-profit program, coordinated by volunteers, funds trips entirely through the generosity of donors and sponsors. Veterans fly to D.C. accompanied by a “guardian” who assists them in navigating travel to and from the various sites.

The Keuka College Veterans Club conducted two fundraisers in the spring to raise $300 to donate toward the Honor Flight Program; a veteran’s trip is valued at $500. At this year’s Veterans’ Day ceremony in Norton Chapel, Siobhan Costain ‘17, president of the club, participated in a symbolic gesture of giving to a local veteran; a formal check presentation was made Dec. 17 on campus.

Siobhan Costain '17 hugs a local veteran during the Honor Flight recognition portion of the Nov. 11 veterans day ceremony at Norton Chapel.

“A lot of times veterans are forgotten more than they should be,” said Costain, whose father and grandfather served in the military. “We are awed by the fact that these men and women have done so much for the country, and this is what we could do for them.”

P. Earle Gleason, former director of the Yates County Veterans Service Agency and an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, helps coordinate Honor Flight travel for Yates County veterans along with locals Norm Koek and Andy Swarthout. According to Gleason, some 23 veterans from throughout the county have taken Honor Flights to D.C. so far and another six to eight have applications in process for the coming year.

The Penn Yan volunteers help coordinate local contingents of Yates County veterans to travel together within one of the three honor flights offered from Rochester each fall or spring. Honor flights are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, with priority given to veterans of the oldest eras first, then to those in more recent service eras suffering terminal illness.

Veterans enjoy a complimentary dinner following the Nov. 11 ceremony

Unlike other Honor Flights around the country, veterans who travel from Rochester enjoy a 36-hour trip, including an overnight stay at the Hilton Hotel at Baltimore-Washington International airport after a full Saturday of travel to D.C. memorials. A special banquet is hosted for the veterans that evening and according to Rich Stewart, president of Honor Flight Rochester, the time after the keynote speaker concludes can be “quite moving” as veterans begin to share their memories.

“A lot of them will open up and tell stories never told before, even with their families,” explained Stewart, who has made the trip a half dozen times as a guardian or bus leader. “People who’ve never publicly spoken in their lives will say ‘I need the microphone’ and it takes your breath away sometimes.”

Thanks to Honor Flight Rochester, 2,121 veterans have visited the military memorials since Rochester trips began in 2008, Stewart said, adding the vets are often greeted in D.C. by military and government officials. When veterans return to Rochester Sunday morning, they may find as many as 500 to 700 people to greet them, he said. In addition to friends and family, the airport welcome includes patriot guard riders bearing flags, a variety of community bands playing patriotic songs, and even members of the Knights of Columbus who create an archway of swords for veterans to pass under, Stewart described.

Local veterans stand at attention Nov. 11 during the playing of "Taps."

“It’s really a hero’s march, if ever there was one. It never gets old,” Stewart said. “Please thank the young folks down there for all they’re doing!”

Local veterans from WWII, the Korean War or ill veterans from the Vietnam or Cold War eras interested in applying for the next Yates County tour-within-a-tour are encouraged to contact Norm Koek at St. Mark’s Terrace or the Yates County Veterans Service Agency for an application to Honor Flight Rochester, Gleason advised. While applications can also be made directly online at www.honorflightrochester.com, online applicants may not be grouped with others from Yates County. The Yates County coordinators also work to defray travel costs for guardians.

Keuka College Marks Veterans Day with Ceremony

Daniel Esworthy '18

Keuka College honored veterans and active duty personnel with a Nov. 11 ceremony held in Norton Chapel. Stationed outside the chapel during the event was a World War II Jeep.

In front of an overflow crowd of students, faculty, and staff, the ceremony featured remarks by Chris Leahy, professor of history; New York State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano; New York State Senator Tom O’Mara; as well as Alison Hunt, deputy district director for U.S. Representative Tom Reed. Robert Heselton, a former machinist mate second class, and a Navy veteran of the first Gulf War, offered his perspective as a veteran.

Rev. Eric Detar, College chaplain, offered a prayer of remembrance and played “America the Beautiful,” while Army veteran Daniel Esworthy ’18 and members of the Penn Yan VFW Honor Guard also took part. They sounded a rifle salute and played Taps at the end of the service.

Several other students were involved in the ceremony, including Siobhan Costain ’17, past president of the Keuka College Veterans Club, who presented the College’s donation to the Honor Flight Rochester. Its mission is to fly our heroes to Washington, DC to visit and reflect together at their memorials. Honor Flight is free to all World War II and Korean veterans and to veterans from any era who suffer a terminal illness.

Members of the College Chorale and QKAppella performed the National Anthem, “America, Of Thee I Sing,” and “God Bless America.”

The service included recognition of all veterans in attendance, as well as a presentation dedicated to those who could not attend.

The women’s field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse teams served as ushers and escorted veterans from their pews after the service, while the men’s basketball and lacrosse teams helped serve dinner to the veterans and their families. The dinner was compliments of AVI Fresh, the College’s food service provider.

Before the ceremony, 375 students, faculty, and staff members of the College community signed holiday cards. Part of the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program, the College campaign was sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council’s (SAC) Events Committee. Those who took part were asked to write a short message and sign their name on a card. The cards will be distributed to veterans and active service men and women in the VA hospitals in Canandaigua and Bath.

More photos of the ceremony can be found here.

Keuka College to Mark Veterans Day Nov. 11

Duran Allen, a member of the Class of 2018, speaks at last year's Veterans Day Ceremony

Keuka College will mark Veterans Day Wednesday, Nov. 11 with a 4:15 p.m. ceremony in Norton Chapel.

Local veterans, their families, and friends are invited to join the College community in the ceremony honoring veterans who have served our country.

The ceremony will include patriotic music, guest speakers, and special recognition of all veterans in attendance. Those veterans who cannot attend will also be honored by students, faculty, and staff if their name is in the program. The ceremony will conclude in front of the chapel with a gun salute and the playing of Taps by members of the Penn Yan V.F.W. Color Guard.

After the service, local veterans are invited to have dinner in the Geiser Dining Hall in the College’s Dahlstrom Student Center. The first 50 veterans who register will receive their dinner compliments of AVI Fresh, the College’s food service provider. Meals can be purchased by other guests at the door.

Community members interested in honoring a veteran during the College’s ceremony, or need more information, can contact Laurie Adams, assistant director of alumni and family relations, at (315) 279-5653. The deadline for including a veteran’s name in the program is Monday, Nov. 2.

Keuka College Will Mark Veterans Day with Ceremony to Honor College and Local Veterans

Associate Professor of History Chris Leahy

Keuka College will mark Veterans Day Tuesday, Nov. 11 with a 4:15 p.m. ceremony in Norton Chapel.

Local veterans, their families, and friends are invited to join the College community in the ceremony honoring veterans who have served our country.

College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera is expected to deliver remarks along with Chris Leahy, associate professor of history, who will speak on the meaning of Veterans Day; and Denise Duby, administrative assistant for the Office of Alumni and Family Relations. The founder of a support group for military families, Duby’s son is serving in the Marines. Duran Allen, a member of the Class of 2018 and a veteran, will also speak. Eric Detar, College chaplain, will offer a prayer of remembrance.

The program also includes Jeff Miller ’15 singing the Star-Spangled Banner, and Olivia O’Boyle ’15 singing Hero. Veterans’ names and pictures will be part of a special musical PowerPoint tribute, and each veteran will receive a flower.

The ceremony will conclude in front of the chapel with a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps by members of the Penn Yan V.F.W. Color Guard.

A member of the Penn Yan V.F.W. Color Guard plays Taps

After the service, local veterans are invited to have dinner in the Geiser Refectory, Dahlstrom Student Center. The first 50 veterans who show their military I.D. will receive their dinner compliments of AVI Fresh, the College’s food service provider. Meals can be purchased by other guests for $10.60 each.

Anyone from the community interested in honoring a veteran during the College’s ceremony can contact Laurie Adams, assistant director of alumni and family relations, at (315) 279-5653.The deadline for including a veteran’s name in the program is Friday, Nov. 7.

College Marks Veterans Day with Ceremony, Card Signing

A member of the Penn Yan VFW Honor Guard pauses at the College's World War II monument.

Keuka College honored veterans and active duty personnel with a Nov. 11 ceremony held in Hegeman 109 and on the lawn near the World War II memorial.

The ceremony featured remarks by College President Jorge L. Díaz-Herrera; Chris Leahy, associate professor of history; Sander Diamond, professor of history; and Linda Park, director of Lightner Library. Eric Detar, College chaplain, offered a prayer of remembrance, and members of the Penn Yan VFW Honor Guard also took part.

Before the ceremony, members of the College and area community signed some 580 holiday cards that will be sent to veterans and active-duty service personnel across America and abroad.

Part of the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program, the College campaign was sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council’s (SAC) Events Committee, co-chaired by Paulette Willemsen, secretary for the Division of Education and Division of Social Work, and BJ Hill, office manager for student affairs.

“Writing cards to our service men and women is a good way to spread holiday cheer and make them feel appreciated,” said Willemsen.

Vicki Tobias, database administrator and committee member, agrees.

“I had four brothers, a sister, and now a niece and nephew serve in the military, and I appreciate what they have done and continue to do,” she said.

Committee member Judy Gilmartin, administrative programmer, said writing her name on the cards “makes a more personal contact with a veteran, and I believe everyone should think about all of those in the service, not just those we know.”

Senior Caroline Arancio, an organizational communication major from Clinton, took time to sign a card because her best friend just returned from basic training, and “I want him to know that I am proud of him and support him.”

Olivia Hudson, a junior occupational science major from Adams, “doesn’t think the people in the military get enough credit for all they do,” while Bryan Chaffee, a sophomore criminal justice/criminology major from Keuka Park, wanted to “thank those who fight for our freedom.”

Kathryn Standinger (left) and Emily Grecco sign cards as part of the College's Holiday Mail for Heroes card signing campaign.

Aubrey Clark, a sophomore occupational science major from Fillmore; Dani Alred, a junior organizational communication major from Horseheads; Emily Grecco, a sophomore psychology major from Waverly; Jakiem Brown, a junior educational studies major from Rochester; Nicole Naidoo, a sophomore accounting major from Durban, South Africa; and Melissa Whipple, a sophomore psychology major from Victor all wanted to sign a card to show their appreciation for the service our military personnel provides.

Those who took part were asked to write a short message and sign their name on a card. In addition to writing messages and signing their names, many members of the campus and local community donated cards, including students at Keuka Lake School and Prattsburgh Central School, residents of Clinton Crest Manor, and participants in College’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

More photos can be found here.