WVU Parkersburg honors veterans

Staff Writer
Jackson Newspapers
Jackson Newspapers

WVU Parkersburg honored veterans, past and present, on Nov. 11 with a virtual Veterans Day celebration and placing 13 flags in the college’s poorhouse cemetery.

Members of the WVU Parkersburg Veterans Corps and Art Club placed American flags on soldiers’ graves who fought from the Second World War to the Korean War. They also placed two flags at the cemetery entrance for unknown veterans.

The Wood County Poorhouse, which once stood on WVU Parkersburg’s property, served as a working farm and residence for the area’s needy. A fire in the poorhouse’s infirmary is believed to have destroyed many residents’ records from 1910 to 1920.

“I come from a military family,” said Traci Mills, WVU Parkersburg student, and Art Club member. “By placing flags on these graves, it is my way of saying ‘thank you.’ The ones buried here were once people too, and it is our job to make sure they are not forgotten.”

Veterans honored at the poorhouse cemetery include Robert Edward Baker, PFC, US Army, WWII; Samuel Butcher, Patriot; Carl M. Caveney, PVT, US Army, WWII; Roy G. Dingler, PVT US Army, WWII; John A. Goudy Jr., PFC, US Army, Korea; Pearl Richard Harkin, US Army, WWII; Daniel Willard Leisure, SR, US Navy; Olin Rexroad, US Army, WWII; Olin T. Sayre, PVT, US Army, WWII; Renley Smith, PVT, US Army, WWII; Donald W. Watson, US Navy; Edward W. Waybright, PVT, US Army, WWII; and Wesley Henry Waybright, PFC, US Army, WWII.

Veterans Advocate Darren Shearlock also shared the college’s thanks to veterans for their service and dedication during a virtual Veterans Day celebration. Shearlock gave a history of Veterans Day, the difference between the national holiday and Memorial Day, and how the college serves its veteran students.

WVU Parkersburg is ranked eighth in the nation by Military Times as one of the best career and technical colleges for veterans. This is due to the support and resources offered to enable veterans to reach their educational, professional, and career goals, including providing students assistance when applying for Veterans Assistance benefits, giving college credit for military experience, helping transition from military to civilian life, and offering additional veteran-based scholarships.

“I chose WVU Parkersburg because it is best for vets,” student veteran Sedonie Beckford said. “I am proud to honor those who served and made it possible for those to follow behind them.”

To watch WVU Parkersburg’s Veterans Day Celebration, visit wvup.edu/live or youtube.com/wvuparkersburg. For more information on the college’s Veterans Resource Center, contact Veterans Advocate Darren Shearlock at darren.shearlock@wvup.edu or 304-424-8000 ext. 337.