By Frank Lewis
Veterans Recognition Day has returned to the campus of Shawnee State University. The event is set for Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the SSU University Center.
Sam McKibbin, a veteran, who urged SSU to have the event again after several years’ hiatus, will serve as master of ceremonies.
“We brought it back because of funding and support,” Mike Hughes, chairman of the event, told the Daily Times. “That was the original reason it discontinued. Back around 2011/12 we had that recession, and since this is a community-sponsored event, things had kind of dried up financially and support had sort of wavered, so we put it on hold. But this year we had some sponsors step forward with the university so that we’re able to do it again.”
State Representative Terry Johnson and U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup, who are both veterans, will speak at the event and will discuss a new bill introduced by Johnson that was passed by the state legislature, titled “Twice the Servant.” It honors veterans who are now serving as police officers or firefighters.
Sponsors of the Veterans Recognition program are Shawnee State University, SSU Development Foundation, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Glockner Family of Dealerships, William McKinley, American Legion Post 23, DESCO Federal Credit Union, Joseph Spencer Chapter, OSDAR, Neal & Vicky Hatcher, America Legion Post 363 Ladies Auxiliary, G&J Pepsi & SODEXO.
“I would say we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 7 percent of our student population are veterans,” Hughes said. “We also have a lot of members of the (Ohio National) Guard who have been activated. We do have a lot of students who take advantage of the Ohio Army National Guard and join so they can get the educational benefits that go with that. So we do have a lot of Guard members on campus as well.”
“It’s open to all veterans,” Hughes said. “Part of what we put on is the Veterans Fair from 10 to 2. We have all the veterans’ organizations, the VA system, anyone who serves veterans and the county service officers, will all be here with information about benefits, services, claims, what veterans are eligible for.”
Multiple agencies and vendors that support veterans such as, Ohio Veterans Home, Chillicothe VAMC, Hunting Vet Center, Armed Forces Recruiters, Ohio National Guard, Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans Chapters 10 and 134, American Legion Posts 23, 363 and 471, American Legion Post 363 Ladies Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign War, and the SOMC Sleep & Wound Centers, will be in attendance.
We try to encourage community veterans to come in and basically see all the veterans’ services that are available within our area in one place,” Hughes said.
Displays include – SSU Veterans Wall, military vehicles and equipment, an historical flags display, and a Civil War exhibit.
All Veterans will receive a t-shirt and meal voucher from SODEXO. There will also be cake and beverages for the Veterans.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.