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WVU-P readies week of Veterans Day events

PARKERSBURG — West Virginia University at Parkersburg will hold Veterans Day observances next week.

The week will begin with a Veterans Day ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the college theater where retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel Alex Cantu will be the guest speaker.

Cantu joined the Air Force as a second lieutenant in 1988. He was an intercontinental ballistic missile launch officer, a space surveillance crew commander, program manager, Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment commander and an instructor at the Air War College.

He also held staff positions in the Air Force to include setting nuclear weapons policy and procedures, managing day-to-day operations of the U.S. Strategic Command computer networks, managing North American Air Defense Command space warning systems and spending a year in Afghanistan to help build the Afghan Air Force Academy.

He retired in 2015 after 26 years of active duty. Since then, he has been the Parkersburg South High School Air Force Junior ROTC senior instructor.

Parkersburg South ROTC will provide a color guard to raise the flag while guest performer Amanda Stevens of Artsbridge leads the national anthem.

The schedule for the week is:

TUESDAY

* Branch/Unit Pride Day. The WVU Parkersburg campus community is encouraged to wear apparel displaying a military branch or favorite unit. The Veterans Corps will host a fundraiser, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at the Veterans Resource Center. Individuals may honor a service member, past or present, by placing the service member’s name and branch on the Memorial Dog Tag display. Dog tags are available for $1 each.

WEDNESDAY

* Soul Injury, 10-11 a.m. The informational session, presented by Housecalls Hospice in the college theater, will discuss a Soul Injury, a wound that penetrates the deepest self and pierces the ego.

* Rock Wall Challenge, noon-1 p.m. Presented by the West Virginia Army National Guard in the College Activities Center parking lot, the climbing wall is a way to try rock climbing in a fun, safe outdoor setting.

THURSDAY

* Santa’s Sweet Charity, 6-8 p.m. The Mid-Ohio Valley Toys for Tots (a Marine Corps organization) will host a dessert competition in the College Activities Center. A $5 entry fee will allow attendees to sample treats provided by local competitors and vote for their favorite submission. Live music will be provided, and the organization will be collecting donations of new, unwrapped toys.

* “Hacksaw Ridge,” 6-9 p.m. student lounge. Listen to a short presentation by WVU Parkersburg professor Aaron Crites about Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, who received the Medal of Honor despite refusing to bear arms during WWII on religious grounds.

FRIDAY

* Pool Tournament, 5-7 p.m. WVU Parkersburg Veterans Corps will host a pool tournament with the chance to win prizes. Sign up for free by emailing Anthony Perry at aperry6@wvup.edu, and put “Pool” in the subject line. The first game will begin at 5 p.m. in the student lounge. Prizes donated by Backwoods Woodcrafts by Vets.

* Ricky’s Cafe will provide refreshments for veterans in the WVU Parkersburg Veterans Resource Center all week.

For more information about Troops Week, contact Darren Shearlock, WVU Parkersburg veterans advocate, at darren.shearlock@wvup.edu or 304-424-8337.

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