Western Campus Thanks Veterans And Active Military Servicemembers With Cards And Messages


ROCK SPRINGS – Students and employees at Western Wyoming Community College wrote thank-yous and messages of appreciation to U.S. military veterans and active servicemembers on Wednesday, Nov. 9, as part of a Thank Our Veterans activity hosted by the campus’s Military Affairs Committee. They signed giant thank-you cards that will be displayed on the campus in observance of Veterans Day.

Community members will have an opportunity to sign the cards at Friday’s Mustang Wrestling Dual with Northwest College in Rushmore Gymnasium. The event begins at 7 p.m. and admission is free, as it is to all regular-season Mustang sporting events. Cards are also being taken to local elementary schools so that students may write messages, as well.

Western volleyball players Abby Ellbogen (top) and Tepoerava DeMeilo sign a thank-you card for veterans and active servicemembers at the Pendulum on Wednesday.

“Western really wanted to recognize the veterans in this community and in the College itself,” said OIS Lab Assistant Teresa Shafe, a member of the campus’s Military Affairs Committee. “We wanted to reach out to them and let them know that we appreciate them. The Military Affairs Committee was formed as another way of looking out for the needs of the veterans who are here at Western. We’re appreciating not only our students but also our faculty and our staff who have served.”

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Thank Our Veterans was initiated by Vice President for Student Success Services Philip Parnell, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served as a missile launch officer, a flight commander, and a staff officer at a missile site that is now the Ronald Reagan Minuteman State Historic Site in North Dakota.

Ariel Stratton, of Evanston, signs a thank-you card for U.S. military veterans and active servicemembers near Mitchell’s Dining Hall on Wednesday.

WWCC Board of Trustees President George Eckman praised the Thank Our Veterans activity and Western’s efforts to serve U.S. military veterans.

“I love this effort,” he said. “The Board of Trustees has encouraged the efforts of the College and supported the efforts of the College to bring veterans who’ve come home, especially from the wars, to learn skills and to come into an environment to help ease them back into the community life of Wyoming and America.”

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One of the thank-you cards signed by students and employees on Wednesday. Cards will also be available for community members to sign at the Mustang Wrestling dual on Friday at 7 p.m. in Rushmore Gymnasium.