Clarion University will mark Veterans Day with public events on both the Clarion and Venango campuses, as well as an open invitation to veterans for a complimentary lunch.
Clarion University – Venango will host its annual Honor the Fallen event at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 14 in Rhoades auditorium. Honoring the Fallen was created to honor those who sacrificed their lives during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Guest speaker is 1st Sgt. Lawrence A. Deal Jr. (US Army, ret.) Deal served in the US Army from 1972 to 1976, then joined the National Guard from 1987 to 2011.
There, he rose through the ranks and became first sergeant for the C/CO 1/107th Field
Artillery Regiment, which made history in 2003 for being one of the first artillery batteries to deploy as military police after activation and deployment to Iraq. His second tour was in 2008 when he deployed with HHC 1/112th Infantry out of Cambridge Springs, which was the first Stryker BN in Pennsylvania to deploy.
Sgt. Deal helped to coordinate training teams and programs to prepare troops for deployment. He traveled to various other states to assist in setting up the same programs and to evaluate units deploying overseas. In 2011, he retired from both the Army National Guard.
This year, in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice, Venango County residents who died in service during World War I are also being honored. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the Allied nations and Germany signed a peace treaty, ending World War I and beginning the annual celebration of Armistice Day. Thirty-six years later, Congress voted to change the name to Veterans Day after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an officer during WWI, noted that our country had been engaged in two wars since that first Armistice Day.
The flag-lined Walk of Remembrance between Frame and Montgomery halls serves as a memorial to all Pennsylvania soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who gave their lives in wartime service to our country. Think of a loved one, a comrade or a special person as you view this simple, somber reminder of service to the United States of America.
ROTC cadets on Clarion's main campus will raise the American flag by Carrier Hall at 7:58 a.m. and lower it at 4:58 p.m. daily, Nov. 4-12.
A 10:30 a.m. ceremony in Suites on Main South will follow the Nov. 12 flag raising, with guest speaker Brandon Rumbaugh, USMC (ret.). Rumbaugh is no stranger to challenge and adversity. After stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2012, he lost both of his legs and underwent months of rehab and treatments. He took that challenge head-on and turned it into self-motivation. Now, Rumbaugh shares his story of challenge and obstacles to create motivation in others, inspiring those he meets with his optimism and passion to help others.
A luncheon, free to all veterans and service members, begins at noon in Eagle Commons.