WVU-P to present program about African-American service members

PARKERSBURG — West Virginia University at Parkersburg will present a program about African-American service members in honor of Black History Month at 12:15 p.m. Monday in the college theater.

Sponsored by the student Veterans Corps, a short presentation on the contributions of African-American service members will be followed by a showing of the 1995 movie “The Tuskegee Airmen.”

The presentation will be given by Kurt Klettner, armed forces veteran and WVU Parkersburg Student Support Services executive director. Klettner served in the United States Air Force from 1973 until 1980.

Achieving the rank of staff sergeant with all of his assignments associated with Strategic Air Command, he earned his bachelor’s and graduate degrees on active duty at Loring Air Force Base in Maine. His assignments included training in Ground Radio Communication Repair and later, after the completion of his master’s degree, he was a drug and alcohol counselor stationed in March, AFB, California.

The movie also will be shown at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. It stars Laurence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding Jr. and tells the story of the first African-American combat pilots in the United States Army Air Corps in World War II. Charles McGee, 100, the last surviving Tuskegee Airman and a retired brigadier general, was recently honored at the 2020 State of the Union Address.

“The only way our nation will forget our national heroes is if we stop telling their stories,” said Darren Shearlock, WVU Parkersburg veterans advocate. “The West Virginia University at Parkersburg Veterans Corps is not willing to let that happen. We are honored to host an event remembering the valiant actions of the Tuskegee Airmen. I am definitely looking forward to the presentation and hope many community members take the opportunity to join us for an entertaining and informative afternoon.”

The presentation and movie showings are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Shearlock at darren.shearlock@wvup.edu or 304-424-8337.