Honoring Our Veterans

Vets Day concert & reception 016

The sounds of patriotic songs filled the air on Veterans Day as the campus community paid tribute to those who have served. The College’s signature Music department hosted a midday concert in the Recital Hall of Academic II.

OCC’s Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. David J. Rudari performed the National Anthem. Music department chair Dr. Rob Bridge then led the Wind Ensemble through three songs: Americans We, Armed Forces Salute and Variations on a Shaker Melody. That was followed by Letter from Sullivan Ballou performed by vocalist Brittany Montpetit (Cicero-North Syracuse HS) and pianist Dr. Kevin Moore. Up next was Here Rests in Honored Glory. The concert concluded with The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Photos from the concert can be viewed in a slideshow at the bottom of this story.

The College’s tribute included a reception for Student-Veterans in the lobby outside Storer Auditorium. Attendees were treated to pizza, beverages, cake and “Thank you for your service” greetings and handshakes from campus community members.

Student-Veterans home on campus is the Office of Veterans’ Affairs which serves nearly 300 students and their dependents each year. “It’s a great resource,” said Matthew Benson, a Baldwinsville High School grad and U.S. Navy  veteran who will graduate next May with a degree in Computer Information Systems. “It’s where we learn about all of the benefits we can receive. It plays a huge role in getting us into school.” Kyle Veal is a U.S. Army veteran from Wisconsin who will earn his Mechanical Technology degree this December. “We all enjoy having a place where we can hang out in between classes. It’s great to be able to share stories with people who have had similar experiences.”

The Office of Veterans’ Affairs is run by Keith Stevenson. He’s an East Syracuse Minoa high school graduate and a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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