The success and commitment Morgantown and West Virginia University have shown integrating returning veterans into their communities will be highlighted Tuesday (April 20) when Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits to meet with veterans and a wide array of others for forums and discussions.

Schedule for Mountainlair Ballroom Forums

9:00 a.m. - Veterans Education Forum

Panelists include:
-Trisha Gyurke, director of WVU Employment
WVU's veteran friendly campus and benefits of hiring veterans
-Terry Miller, WVU Veteran's Advocate
Assists student veterans with VA education benefits and support services
-Anne Hirsh, Co-Director of the Job Accommodation Network
Headquartered at WVU, a federal program that facilitates the employment of disabled workers
-Steve Ernst, President of the Student Veterans Group
To discuss support veterans receive and their needs
-Ian Kellems, counselor at the Carruth Center
Works with student veterans
-Jeff Orndorff, 4-H WVU Extension Specialist
Coordinator of Operation: Military Kids, a Department of Defense-funded project
10:15 a.m. - Veterans Area Employer Forum

Employers include:
Swanson Industries, Mark Carter
ESGR – Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve, David Bush
Workforce WV, Stephen Dailey
Azimuth Inc., Craig Hartzell
Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Scott Marshall
Robert C. Byrd Institute, Charlotte Weber
Cintas, Pete Knapp
Clear Mountain Bank, Frank Vitale

11:15 a.m. Motorcade departs for Morgantown Event Center at Waterfront Place

11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. - Town Hall Meeting and Conversation with Admiral Mullen, Morgantown Event Center, Waterfront Place Hotel

Mullen, the nation’s top military official, will meet with community leaders, University officials, employers, health care providers – and most importantly, returning veterans and their families to discuss integrating veterans and their families into the community through education and training, medical care and employment opportunities.

The day culminates in a town hall meeting at 11:30 a.m. at the Morgantown Event Center at Waterfront Place, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The conversation with Mullen, including an opportunity for questions from the audience, will be webcast at

The day will begin with a wreath laying at 8:30 a.m. on WVU’s Oglebay Plaza, home to the USS West Virginia mast and bell.

Following the brief ceremony, Mullen will attend education and employment forums that address training and hiring returning veterans as well as providing services and assistance. The education forum, hosted by WVU President James P Clements, will be held from 9-10 a.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms, followed by an employer forum, coordinated by Mark Carter, Swanson Industries, from 10:15-11:15 a.m.

The day’s events will end with the town hall meeting from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. All events are open to the public.

Mullen was sworn in as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Oct. 1, 2007. He serves as the principal military advisor to the President, the secretary of defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming chairman, Mullen served as the 28th chief of naval operations.

Ken Busz, president of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “We are very pleased to host the admiral for a day here so that we can show him some of the fine things being done in our community that will benefit the returning vets and their families. This has truly been a team effort that we believe will result in a great opportunity for all involved.”

(MEDIA ADVISORY: Media interested in attending should RSVP by emailing or call 304-293-6997.)



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