‘Walk to Remember’ pays tribute to veterans

Video courtesy of WCTV, Rachel Pellegrino

The men and women that protected this country were honored for their service last week on Veterans Day. Waynesburg University’s campus-wide event was one to remember.

 “When we were sitting down saying, ‘what could we do for this Veteran’s Day?’ One of the things I thought was, ‘how do I combine faith, service and learning along with getting interactions with Veterans?’ I kind of had this idea of doing a candle lit walk,” said Dr. Michelle  Steimer, assistant professor of counseling for the Graduate and Professional Studies Counseling Program.

The event, which was organized by Dr. Steimer, in collaboration with the Center for Service Leadership and Alumni Offices, included a service project and “Walk to Remember.” The history walk featured veterans from several wars including Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Desert Storm. One of the veterans in attendance was Waynesburg University professor Dr. Richard Waddel.

“I was in the Navy from 1976 to 1996. And basically that makes me kind of a cold warrior,” Dr. Waddel, professor of political science, said. “My main job was hunting Soviet submarines during that time.”

The event provided a platform for Waddel and the other veterans to share their stories with students. Tiffany Burkett, sophomore forensic science major and ROTC member, said the event meant a lot to her.

“My great grandfather served in the Navy during World War II and then my great uncle served in Vietnam.” She continued to describe the importance of the event, “A lot of the men and women who served don’t really know the impact they have on us today because I think we tend to forget what’s really happened because it’s not publicized anymore like it used to be.”

After talking with the veterans and completing the “Walk to Remember,” the community was able to give back and make an impact on their lives as well.

“We’ve had so many students come by and as part of this we’re packaging 250 stockings with everything from a pillowcase to a cup of coco, cookies, letters to santa and ways to write home for soldiers and local veterans in nursing homes. So that we can give everybody a little Christmas cheer from our University,” Dr. Steimer said.

The veterans were humbled by the experience and honor given to them on this special day.

“I’m not quite sure what to say when people thank me for my service because I enjoyed doing it,” Dr. Waddel said. “It was an honor to do so, and it was just really great. It’s been a very large part of my life.”

The Yellow Jacket Print Newspaper is back for a Special Fall 2021 Edition.

Pick up your copy around campus Friday, December 3! Copies will also be available at select locations around the community. Happy holidays and happy reading!