Ohio Southern to host veterans tribute today

November 9, 2018

Author Ray O'Connor is the keynote speaker for the Veterans Day Tribute at Ohio University Southern, set for Thursday, Nov. 8. O'Connor's book, "She Called Him Raymond — A True Story of Love, Loss, Faith and Healing," features the story of a WWII veteran. Autographed copies of the book will be given to all veterans in attendance at the event.

IRONTON — Ohio University Southern will conduct its 12th Veterans Day Tribute Program at 11:30 a.m. today, Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Bowman Auditorium, located in the Collins Center of the Ironton Campus.

Nicole Pennington, dean of the Southern Campus, said the event provides an opportunity to think about and honor the sacrifices, courage, and patriotism of those who have served our country. “We must always recognize and respect those who have fought to keep us safe,” Pennington said.

There are currently about 22 million veterans in America, with almost one million of them living in the state of Ohio. Pennington said the commemoration of Veterans Day is so “we remember to thank those who served... Ohio University Southern is grateful for the selflessness, the sacrifice, and the bravery for the sake of our freedom and peace,” she said. Teresa McKenzie serves as the veterans services coordinator for Ohio Southern. She said the tribute program will highlight the oaths made “by those who signed on a dotted line that they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, honor those who made that sacrifice, and those who continue to fight long after their service is up.”

McKenzie, who is an Air Force veteran, said she is honored to count herself

among those veterans of wars past, present and future.

“It is my hope that students in attendance will walk away from the program with a sense of the enormity of the OHIO veteran family and the sacrifices made to ensure their futures and freedoms,” McKenzie said.

The 2018 Veterans Day Tribute will feature the presentation of colors by VFW Post 8850 of Ironton; POW/MIA Ceremony by the Paul G. Blazer High School Junior ROTC; special music by the Ironton High School Varsity Singers; and a special keynote address by Ray O’Connor, author of the book “She Called Him Raymond: A True Story of Love, Loss, Faith and Healing.” The book is the powerful story of two people during the Great Depression and World War II. Free autographed copies of the book will be available to all veterans in attendance at the event.

Ohio Southern is also marking Veterans Day with the Missing Man Table at the Southernmost Cafe located in the Collins Center. The Missing Man Table is a place of honor set up in dining facilities in memory of fallen, missing or imprisoned military service-members. Additionally, the campus is also creating a Veterans Memory Wall outside the Bowman Auditorium with photographs of veterans of the Ohio Southern family and community.

Ohio University Southern is a Military Friendly School, which is a designation awarded to the top colleges and universities in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. Current and future students of Ohio Southern interested in learning more about their potential Veterans Administration educational benefits may contact McKenzie at 740-547-3875 or email mckenzt1@ohio.edu. Additional information may be accessed at the Ohio University Veteran and Military Student Center website at www.ohio.edu/veteranscenter.

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