Chesapeake College holds veterans service
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.
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.
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.