West Virginia University is honoring veteranswiththe Military Appreciation Breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. today (Oct. 16) in the Mountainlair ballrooms on the Downtown Campus.
Attendees have the opportunity to acknowledge veterans and service men and women and to hear their stories.
The event reflects the theme,Serving Our State,which is part of the WVU Inauguration Week, being held through Sunday (Oct. 21) in conjunction with Homecoming and Diversity Week activities.
WVU President Mike Garrison is recognizing the contributions of veterans, and guests are previewing photojournalist Joel Beesons documentary on black World War II veterans from West Virginia.
The event features a joint WVU Army and Air Force ROTC color guard in addition to a narration and table with symbolic items remembering prisoners of war and those missing in action.
Its very nice the University is recognizing veterans this way,said Col. Edwin Parks, commander of the WVU Air Force ROTC Detachment 915.This event is an important tribute to the veterans of our community.
Beeson, an assistant professor in WVU s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, is presenting highlights from his documentary filmFighting on Two Fronts: Untold Stories of African American Vets from WWII .
The film grew out of Beesons work as director of the West Virginia Veterans History Project, a collaboration with the American FolkLife Center and the Library of Congress to collect the oral histories of West Virginias 202,000 veterans.
The stories of these men and women are not recorded in the official histories of our countrys involvement in World War II,Beeson said,so their experiences are vital to complete the historical record.
Beeson was awarded a media grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council to produce a documentary about West Virginias black veterans.
The documentary, scheduled to air this Veterans Day on West Virginia Public Television, reveals the stories of fiveGreatest Generationveterans who were forced to fight two battlesagainst racism at home and against an enemy on foreign soil.
WVU currently has approximately 600 student combat veterans.