Veterans program slated at PHS

PARKERSBURG – Four military veterans will tell their stories during a panel discussion at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Parkersburg High School.

The Take a Veteran to School Day program is sponsored by the West Virginia Telecommunications Association and The History Channel and is part of a statewide series of events involving Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

The Sunday discussion will be held in the auditorium at Parkersburg, said Andrew Beckner, a Rockefeller spokesman in West Virginia.

Parkersburg High was chosen because of the senator’s involvement and interest in the reinstatement of the Naval Junior ROTC program at the school, Beckner said. Because of dwindling participation, the Navy canceled the ROTC program, then reinstated it earlier this year when required membership levels were sustained.

Members of the program will be the backdrop on the stage, Beckner said.

Participating in the discussion will be:

* Fred Mayer, Charles Town, a World War II veteran.

* John Proe, Charles Town, a Vietnam War veteran.

* Jessica Lynch, a POW in the Iraq War who was rescued by U.S. commandos and now teaches in Wirt County.

* Thomas Lopez, a West Virginia native from Fayette County and a retired four-star admiral who was commander in chief, United States Naval Forces, Europe, and commander in chief Allied Forces, Southern Europe.

Their discussions will be archived in the Veterans History Project. Veterans Day is Nov. 11.

Rockefeller, who is retiring at the end of the term in 2014, also will participate in the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease clinic ribbon cutting and celebration in Dawes, the Jackson-Jefferson Day Dinner sponsored by the West Virginia Democratic Party in Charleston and will be the host of a broadband summit in Morgantown.

The party dinner will commemorate Rockefeller’s tenure in public office. He is a former governor and secretary of state in West Virginia.

The schedule is:

* Saturday, 10:30 a.m., ribbon-cutting for the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary Rehabilitation Project at the Cabin Creek Health Center

Participants include United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts and representatives from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and Cabin Creek Health Systems.

* Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Charleston Civic Center. Vice President Joe Biden is the main speaker.

* Monday, 12:30 p.m., a meeting at the Morgantown Events Center with Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation on connecting key sectors of the West Virginia economy to the Internet. Participants include FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Google Vice President Mohammad Gawdat.