Kaskaskia College hosted a Purple Heart celebration in the
Lifelong Learning Center on the main campus on Friday, May 30 at 11:30 am. The program honored ten area Purple Heart
After the group was lead in the Pledge of Allegiance by Mr.
Don Berdeaux and a welcoming address by Mr. Bill Hawley, Chair of the KC Board
of Trustees, the invocation was given by Reverend Mark Girardin, US Navy
veteran. Dr. Jim Underwood, President of
KC and Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army (retired), addressed the gathering and gave
a short history of the Purple Heart medal.
Ten area Purple Heart recipients in attendance were
introduced by Travis Henson, Director of Marketing for KC. The recipients were: Gervase Hemker of Germantown who was wounded
in Vietnam in 1966; Don Schulte of Aviston who was wounded in Vietnam in 1966;
Joe Pariseau of Breese who was wounded in Vietnam in 1968; Mike Detmer of
Breese who was wounded in Vietnam in 1966; Dave Maue of Bartelso who was
wounded in Vietnam in 1970; Carl Lammers of Highland who was wounded in Vietnam
in 1967; Jim Murphy of Walnut Hill who was wounded in Vietnam in 1968; Mike
Draege of Centralia who was wounded in Vietnam in 1967; Larry Garrison of
Centralia who was wounded in Vietnam in 1968; and Keith Meadows of Walnut Hill
who was wounded in Korea in 1950.
Each Purple Heart recipient was presented a handmade quilt
crafted by the ladies of the Lakeside Quilters group. This group is part of the Quilts of Valor
Foundation which, to date, has awarded over 99,836 quilts to veterans. The Ladies in the group attending included Pat Herrin, Judy McCarty, Judy
Trader, Karen Kolmer, Lael Snyder, and Linda Clevenger.
Kaskaskia College is a top-tier school as measured by
military friendliness, in the top 20%, according to KC Board of Trustees member
and Veterans Tribute Co-chair Jim Beasley, who reminded the attendees that the
formal dedication of the Veterans Tribute project at Kaskaskia College will
take place on Friday, June 6 at 10:00 am.
Kaskaskia College hopes to make the Purple Heart celebration
an annual event. If you are or know of a
Purple Heart recipient who would like to be part of the next celebration,
please contact Travis Henson, Director of Marketing for KC at 618-545-3177 or
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.