Veterans receive honorable salutes

Gannon University will host its annual Veterans Day Salute from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday in the Yehl Ballroom located in the Waldron Campus Center.

The event is a memorial ceremony for the many veterans who have served their country and will include a POW/MIA Fallen Warriors ceremony, a wreath dedication and a 21-gun salute, all of which will be followed by a reception.

Most notably, however, the ceremony will feature guest speaker James M. Dubik, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and president/CEO of Dubik Associates, LLC.

Dubik, who had a storied career in the U.S. Army, also happens to be an Erie native. He was commissioned at Gannon in 1971 when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and is still to this date Gannon’s highest ever ranking commissioned general officer.

Dubik’s list of accomplishments would be difficult to list in one article, but some of his more noteworthy achievements include being a 2012 inductee of the Army Rangers Hall of Fame and helping to design the IAV Stryker, an eight-wheeled, armored fighting vehicle produced by General Dynamics Land Systems for the U.S. Army.

He is also currently an adjunct faculty member in Georgetown University’s security studies program.

Ronald K. Swift, retired lietenant colonel, United States Army Reserves and veteran financial aid and enrollment counselor at Gannon, had nothing but good things to say about Dubik and the event itself.

“It’s a tremendous honor for him to come speak at Gannon,” he said, “he has had an absolutely fabulous career, and for him to make time in his busy schedule to speak here means a lot.”

Swift is very eager to see what he will speak about, but said he expects Dubik may speak a great deal about the current world situation, particularly regarding the Middle East and I.S.I.S.

“I hope he can provide some insight on I.S.I.S.,” he said “We hear about it on the news all the time, but Dubik is in a position where he really knows what’s going on over there.”

Swift said that he anticipates a great turnout for the event.

“Because he’s a native of Erie, we expect a lot of people to show up,” he said, “and not just those involved with Gannon, but also a lot of people from the Erie community.”

People won’t just show up for Dubik, however, as Gannon has also added a POW/MIA Fallen Warriors ceremony this year that will feature American Legion Millcreek Post 773. In addition, talented bagpiper Sgt. Major Walker will perform “Amazing Grace” throughout the ceremony.

All in all, this event is slated to recognize and honor the service of Gannon student veterans, both deceased and living, as well as Reservists, National Guards and their families.

There is also a Gannon football game at noon  Saturday that will be free for veterans and their families. It will feature a pre-game veterans celebration that begins at 11:40 a.m. with another veterans recognition at halftime.

The entire Erie community is encouraged to attend both events to pay tribute to Gannon’s many veterans and proud military history.

CHARLES LEAR

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