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DeSales Salutes Veterans with Veterans Day Ceremony

by Janelle Hill Nov 12, 2018
DeSales Veterans

The DeSales community paused to give thanks and pay tribute to our nation’s veterans during a special Veterans Day ceremony.

Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community were on hand for this year’s remembrance, which coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I. 

“Today we are here to honor all those men and women who have served in uniform to protect and defend the United States of America.”

Dr. Wayne Stuart, director of the University’s physician assistant program, who served 11 years active duty in the U.S. Army

The DeSales University Chorale, Southern Lehigh High School Band, and American Legion Post 397 in Hellertown all took part in the ceremony.

Students Patrick Sorrentino, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and Haley Aversa, who’s in the U.S. Army ROTC, participated in the laying of the wreath, along with Wayne Hodge, an ROTC student who’s active duty in the U.S. Army.

Shannon Dodson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and president of DeSales Vets for Vets, spoke about the newly created student veterans’ organization on campus.

DeSales Vets for Vets is a chartered chapter of Student Veterans of America, a non-profit organization that’s focused on addressing the needs and concerns of military veterans in higher education. 

“It’s hard to transition from military life to the civilian world. It’s even more difficult coming back to be a student. But having an organization established at the University, we have a family connection.” 

Shannon Dodson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and president of DeSales Vets for Vets

The group gives veterans a space where they can talk and also helps with things like financial aid and benefits. Any veteran in the Lehigh Valley can join.

“It’s an outside family,” says Dodson. “It’s a veteran thing. We can understand each other’s pain and anxiety and stress and we get through it together.” 

One of the group’s first initiatives is to collect Toys for Tots on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Boxes are located throughout campus, including in the veterans lounge, and donations will be accepted until December 14.