West Chester University Military Appreciation Day took place on Saturday, Nov. 7 this year, and the community honored the event in multiple ways.
At 9:30 a.m. in the WCU Alumni & Foundation Center, the Veterans Center hosted a brunch and scholarship ceremony for a number of veterans and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets.
This was the second annual scholarship brunch but, according to Lillian Morrison, Veterans Center Coordinator, this was the first year that several scholarships were given.
Dr. Mark Pavlovich, Vice President of Advancement and Sponsored Research, highlighted the importance of the scholarship presentation in his welcome speech to the attendees.
“When soldiers return from activity duty and prepare for civilian life, it is critical that we be ready to provide the support they need for the transition,” said Dr. Pavlovich.
The first scholarship, which was presented by WCU President Greg Weisenstein, was the West Chester University Presidential Military Scholarship. The recipients of this award were Peter Arend, Michael Diorio, Tyler Huhn, Zachary Nelson, Justin O’Neill, Nicholas Schlegel, and Katarina Szabo.
Adrian Rodriguez and Michael Peterman won the Bernhard F. Schlegel American Legion Post 134 Scholarship.
After that, Heather Williams was presented with the Captain Steve Quigley Veterans Scholarship.
Following this award, Kelby Hershey received the Corporal Brandon Hardy Scholarship, which was established by Hardy’s family after he was killed in action.
Samuel Brown was the recipient of the Everett Cassel Veterans Scholarship.
Christopher Herbert was chosen for the Hoxie Harrison Smith Scholarship in memory of Roger Hollingsworth, while Katerina Szabo was chosen for the Hoxie Harrison Smith Scholarship in memory of Joseph H. Barber.
The winner of the Military Order of the World Wars Scholarship was Angela Clemens.
Then, Michael Diorio was given the Russell Rickert ROTC Scholarship.
Bradley Pointer was presented with the Scholarship in Honor of Roger Martinkus, U.S. Air Force, and Daniel Gallagher received the Scholarship in Memory of John Martinkus, U.S. Army.
The Student Veterans Group Scholarship was awarded to Jared Bull, Alecc Costanzi, Nicholas Herschel, Bethany Martin, Dominique Masters, and Richard Simpson. Meanwhile, Sarah Tolley won the Student Veterans Group Scholarship Service Award, and Kahn Wiedis won the Student Veterans Group Scholarship Academic Excellence Award.
Colin Yabor was the recipient of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 845 Military Scholarship.
Masters, one of the scholarship recipients, greatly appreciated the scholarship ceremony.
“It’s a different world now, where you have your benefits but you’re also still working, and sometimes it can get a little tough,” said Masters. “It’s nice to know that there is help out there, and you can be recognized for that. Every little bit helps.”
According to Costanzi, he enjoyed the fact that there were different kinds of scholarship opportunities available, and that they didn’t all focus solely on GPA.
“Each veteran has different needs and different things they’re good at, so it kind of applies to everybody,” said Costanzi.
The Nov. 7 football game against East Stroudsburg University at 1 p.m. allowed free admission to those with military I.D. In addition, it benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, which is a nonprofit charity organization that, according to their website, aims “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”
Before the football game began, there was a brief wreath of dedication ceremony in memory of Mike Horrocks. Horrocks was a copilot on United Flight 175, which crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Horrocks, a former quarterback, graduated from WCU in 1985, and after his death, a statue of him was built by Farrell Stadium. It is now tradition for players to touch the statue before a game.
The American Helicopter Museum & Education Center also hosted their Tribute to Veterans on the same day from 10 a.m to 1 p.m.
Sponsored by Brandywine Valley Heating and Air Conditioning, this event offered free admission for active military members, veterans, and their family. The Tribute to Veterans featured guest speaker Colonel Phil Ryan, colorguard by the Marine Corps League, and patriotic music by the local Lukens Band.
Casey Tobias is a second-year student majoring in women’s and gender studies. She can be reached at CT822683@wcupa.edu. Her Twitter is @Casey__Tobias.