Veterans brunch, Nov.12 Honors 70 veterans, interviews

Wilkes University will host its 5th annual veterans brunch on Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. in the Henry Student Center Ballroom.

The brunch will honor 70 veterans and spouses representing veterans, whose services range from WWII to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Additionally, 70 students will have the opportunity to socialize with and learn from the veterans.

These veterans and students are part of a service learning project for a First Year Foundations class, “Be the Change.” Earlier in the semester, the students met with veterans one-on-one to gather their oral histories. After the brunch, each veteran will receive a copy of their own personal history as a keepsake for generations to come.

This brunch marks the 200th veteran interviewed for this project. Wilkes University Civic Engagement Coordinator Megan Valkenburg, who helps coordinate the event and the interviews, said the project is beneficial in many ways.

“It gives us an opportunity to highlight the sacrifices and fortitude of these wonderful individuals, both the veterans and the spouses, and the strength it takes to be part of the military,” she said, noting the dwindling population of WWII veterans.

She also stated that the interviews help students develop interpersonal skills while breaking down age barriers, developing common ground with an older generation and showing students they “don’t really have it as hard as they think.”