CENTRAL, S.C. (courtesy swu.edu) — Southern Wesleyan University honored veterans and currently serving military during military appreciation events held Nov. 13 on the Central campus.
Attending the military appreciation events were veterans of wars in Vietnam and the Middle East, as well as Southern Wesleyan students and alumni who are currently serving in the military.
“I am here today because I am standing on the shoulders of men and women who came before me. I am here today because somebody believed in this country. I am here today because somebody understood that what we do is not only for ourselves but for our God and those who come behind us,” said CH (LTC) Norris Darden, senior chaplain for the South Carolina Military Department, who was the keynote speaker for a military appreciation chapel at Newton Hobson Auditorium. Darden continued, “We’re thankful for those who stand in the gap so that we can enjoy liberty,”
Chapel highlights included Southern Wesleyan student and Lance Cpl. Shonquez Caldwell of the Marines, leading in The Pledge of Allegiance the University Singers presenting a repertoire of patriotic musical selections, including a medley of songs honoring each branch of the United States military.
Speaking to a military appreciation luncheon was U.S. Army Brigadier General Jeff Jones, Deputy Adjutant General for the South Carolina Military Department. Jones recognized several heroic members of our surrounding community by name and praised them for their service and sacrifice during wartime, including the many who sacrificed their lives for their country, saying “heroes are common people who did uncommon things for the betterment of mankind.”
Jones continued, “It’s the soldier, not the pastor, who gives us freedom of religion; it’s the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press; it’s the solder, not the politician, who gives us freedom to vote; it’s the soldier, not the attorney, who gives us the right to a free trial.”
Luncheon highlights included music from Prof. Jane Dill, chair of the university’s Fine Arts Division, remarks from Donna Pittman, VA benefits administrator; Dr. Todd Voss, president; and Scott Drury, vice president for advancement. PFC Kiunah Fye of the National Guard, also a 2018 SWU Human Services graduate, led in the Pledge of Allegiance; and the Daniel High School JROTC presented the colors. Also, Dr. Brad Fipps, religion professor and retired Army chaplain, gave the invocation and Dr. Paul Shotsberger, mathematics professor and retired Navy commander, gave the benediction.
After the luncheon, Southern Wesleyan held a brief ceremony to bless its military monument, a place where the service and sacrifice of men and women in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces will be remembered for years to come. Over the monument, located beside the Sheriff National Guard Memorial Flag Plaza, fly five service flags, which will be raised only on national holidays, observances and other special occasions, including President’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day and other military events on campus. Along the rear of the wall is the message “We will remember.”
Dr. Bob Nash, a retired professor who served in the Army as command sergeant major, was recognized for his role in making the monument possible as a place to honor those who have served in uniform. On the monument are bronze plaques for loved ones living or deceased who are Southern Wesleyan alumni or relatives, as well as current or previous faculty or staff members with documented military service. For details on ordering a plaque for the monument, visit www.swu.edu/giving/military-monument or contact Southern Wesleyan University’s Office of Advancement at (864) 644-5006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Wesleyan holds a military appreciation event annually on the second Wednesday of November.
Military appreciation events were organized by the university’s Advancement Office with valuable assistance from the university’s Veterans Support Services, Academic Records, Office of Marketing, Pioneer College Caterers and the Warriors Baseball Team.
For details, contact the Office of Advancement at (864) 644-5009.
For details about Southern Wesleyan’s commitment to the educational success of veterans as a Military Friendly School, visit swu.edu/military or contact Donna Pittman, VA benefits administrator, at email@example.com or call (864) 644-5536.