By: Cory Berlekamp
Nov. 9 marked the second annual reading of the names of University of Findlay’s veterans in the Center for Student Life and College of Business Building.
University of Findlay’s Veteran Day Observance and reading of the names was an opportunity to honor the brave students who served our country and those that came back to receive recognition for their service.
The ceremony took place at the Veteran’s Wall on campus, which opened fall of 2017. The wall is a tribute to over 700 active and retired veterans who attended the university. The university is looking to add more names to the wall every year.
Opening remarks were made by UF Trustee, Parent, and Veteran, former Captain in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Chris Ostrander.
As a first-generation military man, Ostrander was told by a former teacher that “West Point wasn’t for someone like him.” It has been over 30 years since then, and Ostrander has since then played on the WestPoint Football Team, received a degree in mechanical engineering, and served his country proudly.
While less than 1 percent of the population serves in the U.S. military, it seems nearly everyone knows of a family member or dear friend that dedicated their life. University of Findlay 1968 alumni and 2018 Hancock County Veteran of the Year Lt. Col. James W. Woodward has left not only a legacy of national service but also a legacy of current military members.
“It is the veteran, not the preacher who has given us religion. It is the veteran, not the poet has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the lawyer who has given us the right to a fair trial,” said Woodward.
Assistant Alumni Director Rachel Darroch is proud to organize this program with the help of Dr. Marcia Latta, Vice President of Advancement.
“I believe it is one of our civic duties to recognize all military personnel,” said Darroch. “I think the Honor Wall is a beautiful tribute to these wonderful men and women who have served our country, and we are very proud to call them Oilers.”
Woodward echoed her sentiment and showed his love and respect for the military community, including his two daughters and their husbands currently serving in the U.S. Army: “My words won’t be formal, but they will be heartfelt.”
He concluded the ceremony, standing tall in his adorned uniform, by giving credit to those who have served, continue to serve, and are preparing to serve.
“All gave some, and some gave all.”