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Student Veterans Organization commemorates Veterans Day with ceremony

ISSUED: 11 November 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Student Veterans Organization marked Veterans Day November 11 with a ceremony at the flag pole in front of Erma Ora Byrd Hall on East Campus. The ceremony included a talk by Dr. Ann Wendle, clinical assistant professor and graduate program coordinator for College Student Development Administration, who is a veteran. Wendle spoke about the history of military service in her family and read a passage from an ancestor’s Civil War diary.

Chaplain Barry Wheeler form the Martinsburg VA Medical Center did a moment of silence and an ending prayer, and a bugler from the VFW Post 3522 Charles Town played Taps. Robert Hardin, president of the Student Veterans Organization, served master of ceremonies, and Wayne “Bud” Casto, U.S. Army veteran and VFW member, attended.

In addition to the ceremony, the Student Veterans Organization hosted a breakfast with faculty and staff on November 9 at which Dr. Sharon Mailey, dean, College of Nursing, Education, and Health Science, was presented a challenge coin for her service in the U.S. Army.

Other veteran-oriented activities planned throughout the week include Purposefull Paws talking about services animals Tuesday, November 12, from 1-4 pm in the Student Center Potomac Room; a representative from the Martinsburg VA Medical Center will be in the Veterans Center Wednesday from 1-4 p.m. to register veterans for MyHealtheVet; and Mission 22 will be on campus Thursday in Gardiner Hall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the Byrd Science Center Lawn raising awareness of veteran suicide.

Since 2015, Shepherd has been a 5 Star Challenge school, an initiative that encourages all of West Virginia’s two- and four-year institutions to adopt a set of standards to help veterans achieve an education. In addition to special programming surrounding Veteran’s Day, Shepherd has year-round veteran-specific programs such as Team River Runner, which offers therapeutic kayaking to veterans, the Storm-Kersey Memorial Scholarship, priority class registration, and a veterans-to-agriculture program. Forty faculty and staff have been certified in Green Zone Training where they gain an understanding of the military experience of student veterans as they transition from the military to campus life, and student veterans who complete their degree receive a challenge coin to mark the accomplishment.

Shepherd also has a Veterans Center that offers a lounge, full kitchen, ping pong and pool tables, and computers where veteran students can study, meet, and socialize. Everything in the Veterans Center was donated by members of the community. The last Friday of each month, the Student Veterans Organization hosts family dinners in the center.

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