Supporting Our Veterans
By Michael Harman
Students often become involved in student organizations in an effort to become active on campus and support a cause they believe in. The Washington College Veteran’s Association (recently changed from the Student Veteran’s Club) is a new club, which provides support for and honors veterans on campus.
Each member has their own reason for joining and strives to enlighten others. Shawn Isenegger, sophomore and the first vice president of the group said, “The WCVA is… composed of… students in the military currently, student veterans, and non-student veterans.”
According to President Vernon “Gene” Davis, “The WCVA is a group open to all members of the Washington College community. We want to provide military veterans at WC with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education.”
The idea to start a club for veterans at WC came from Davis. “When I first started taking classes here two-and-a-half years ago, I brought my idea to Dr. [Ryan] Kelty and we worked hard to bring it to fruition. We just became recognized by the SGA in January of 2014,” he said.
WCVA is all about support. Not only for veterans, but for all members as everyone came together for a similar cause. One of Davis’ favorite parts about being involved with WCVA is “the camaraderie amongst the members, and working closely with the student body on campus.”
Working closely with others is what this club thrives on. One of the many goals that WCVA has is “to serve communities, serve current servicemen and servicewomen, and serve veterans through community service,” said Isenegger.
For example, the members of WCVA have “set up an event in Chestertown in memory of a local fallen serviceman,” said Isenegger. “Yet, being new, we haven’t had dozens of events. As the organization sets its foundations and grows, new events will happen.”
Davis already has a few events in mind for the future that could get people interested in the messages of WCVA. “We plan to work with the town of Chestertown to have a memorial erected downtown for the local fallen heroes of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. We also would like to host a dinner and a dance here on campus,” said Davis.
WCVA has great hope for the future of their club, and with great ideas comes great dedication. “We plan on achieving these goals by networking with the local and campus community in order to raise funds for these activities,” said Davis.
“Having an organization to remind us, the community, and the country what these brave men and women do is necessary,” said Isenegger.
When the fall semester begins, Isenegger said, “We will be having a meeting on the second Sunday of every month at 3 p.m. Want to join? Simply show up and find out what we’re all about. You can even email our advisor, Dr. Kelty, or our president, Gene Davis.”