Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege holds veter­ans ser­vice

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

WYE MILLS — A pro­jec­tion screen be­hind a podium set up in the Caro­line Col­lege Cen­ter on the Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege cam­pus on Thurs­day, Nov. 10, showed slides of friends and fam­i­lies of stu­dents and fac­ulty who have served in the United States mil­i­tary. Slide af­ter slide showed images and hon­ors the in­di­vid­u­als had re­ceived dur­ing their mil­i­tary ser­vice.

For the past decade, the col­lege, lo­cated in Wye Mills, has held a cer­e­mony to honor those who, past and present, have served their coun­try.

“As the son and brother of veter­ans, I’m par­tic­u­larly pleased that the col­lege cel­e­brates the im­por­tant mis­sion un­der­taken by our na­tion’s veter­ans,” Rich Mid­cap, vice pres­i­dent for stu­dent af­fairs, said while wel­com­ing the au­di­ence.

Fol­low­ing Mid­cap’s re­marks, stu­dents from the Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter on cam­pus led those in at­ten­dance in the Pledge of Al­le­giance as well as sang mul­ti­ple pa­tri­otic songs. Chil­dren ages 3 through 7 who have par­ents who are stu­dents, fac­ulty or staff at the col­lege are el­i­gi­ble for the pro­gram.

“Oh veter­ans, oh veter­ans, we honor you to­day,” the group of kids sang to the au­di­ence.”...We give you thanks for all you’ve done.”

Olson Dorce, a Ma­rine Corps vet­eran and cur­rent Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege stu­dent, was the fea­tured speaker and talked about how he got in­volved in the mil­i­tary and how it changed him. Dorce said once he lost his schol­ar­ship at Univer­sity of Mary­land Bal­ti­more Col­lege and was back home try­ing to fig­ure out what to do with his life, he and his best friend de­cided to en­list.

Dorce, who served in the Ma­rine Corps for five years and is a first gen­er­a­tion Amer­i­can, said see­ing where his fam­ily came from in Haiti and “see­ing all the great op­por­tu­ni­ties that I have and the op­por­tu­ni­ties they did not have” makes him grate­ful and ap­pre­cia­tive.

Hav­ing grown up in a com­mu­nity not “privy” to see­ing that many ser­vice mem­bers, Dorce said com­ing to the Eastern Shore and see­ing how veter­ans are treated made him un­der­stand all of the sac­ri­fices he made while serv­ing “wasn’t for noth­ing.”

While in train­ing at Par­ris Is­land, S.C., Dorce said he was able to in­ter­act with in­di­vid­u­als he most likely wouldn’t have had it not been for the mil­i­tary and stressed the bonds he had forged. Hav­ing spo­ken to veter­ans who served in Viet­nam whose best friends were the peo­ple in their pla­toon, Dorce said he hopes the same “can ring true” for him down the line.

Dorce thanked Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege for the sup­port it has for veter­ans and how it gave him mo­ti­va­tion and “opened doors” for the fu­ture. Though Dorce will be trans­fer­ring to Howard Univer­sity, he praised the ad­min­is­tra­tion and staff for wel­com­ing veter­ans and for un­der­stand­ing the chal­lenges from be­ing in the mil­i­tary to be­ing in the “pub­lic sec­tor.”

Mid­cap pre­sented Dorce with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion as well as a schol­ar­ship for school books for the spring se­mes­ter.

Ge­orge Jack­son had a ta­ble set up for at­ten­dees to sign scrolls that will be sent to troops over­seas. Mike Neal, a veter­ans rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and Royce Ball with the Mid-Shore Re­cov­er­ing Veter­ans Group, also had ta­bles with in­for­ma­tion avail­able.

“For the veter­ans here, I want to thank you for your ser­vice,” Dorce said. “And for those who have rel­a­tives who have served in the armed forces, I want to thank them as well for their ser­vice.”

Veter­ans Day is of­fi­cially rec­og­nized Nov. 11, but the col­lege is not open on Fri­day to host its event on the ac­tual day of re­mem­brance.

The ob­ser­vance was spon­sored by the Kent Is­land Chick-fil-A, lo­cated at 1845 Main St., Ch­ester, and was or­ga­nized by Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege’s veter­ans com­mit­tee.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Stu­dents from Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege’s Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter sang “See the Flag It’s Wav­ing High” dur­ing the school’s Veter­ans Day cel­e­bra­tion on Thurs­day, Nov. 10.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Rich Mid­cap, vice pres­i­dent for stu­dent af­fairs at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege, wel­comes guests in the Caro­line Col­lege Cen­ter on cam­pus to its an­nual Veter­ans Day cel­e­bra­tion on Thurs­day, Nov. 10.

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