Honoring Those Who Served: Gannon University Commemorates Veterans Day
Posted: November 8, 2016
Gannon University will honor those who served their country in
America's armed forces with a salute to veterans on Wednesday, Nov.
9, at 2 p.m. in the Yehl Room of the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W.
Seventh St. The public is welcome to attend the event. Attendance
by veterans and their families is particularly encouraged.
Guest speaker for the salute will be Retired Brigadier General
Mark Bellini. Bellini was commissioned a second lieutenant in the
U.S. Army through the Gannon University Army ROTC program.
The salute will begin with a presentation of the colors by the
"Pride of PA" Battalion of the Gannon University ROTC program.
Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will offer welcoming remarks
at a fallen warriors ceremony in honor of prisoners of war and
personnel missing in action that will be presented by the American
Legion Millcreek Post 773.
In addition, the names of Gannon military members who gave their
lives in service to their country will be read and a wreath will be
laid. The ceremony will also include a three-round volley salute by
members of Post 773. A reception will follow.
On the same day, a traveling museum of historical military
equipment assembled by the 265th Radio Research Company Sentinel
Chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association will come to
Room 219 of the Waldron Campus Center beginning at 9 a.m.
Radio research was the cover-name for U.S. Army Security Agency
activities operating in southeast Asia between1961 and 1973. The
museum will showcase equipment and other artifacts used in that
operation. Vietnam War veterans will be on campus the morning of
the salute for a presentation and group discussion.
The events are being organized by Retired Lieutenant Colonel
Ronald K. Swift, Gannon University's veterans financial aid and
enrollment counselor. Swift works with veterans interested in attending Gannon and helps them apply the benefits they are
eligible for as a result of their service.
Gannon is a participating university in the Yellow Ribbon
Program, established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational
Assistance Act of 2008. The program allows colleges and
universities to voluntarily work with the Department of Veterans
Affairs to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the highest
public in-state undergraduate tuition and fee rate in their
Gannon also offers an Army ROTC program and is the host
university for the "Pride of PA" Battalion. The program offers
specialized leadership training through both course work and
related activities. ROTC also allows cadets to develop the
qualities essential to success in any military or civilian career,
including physical stamina, self-discipline and poise.
About Gen. Mark Bellini
Retired Brigadier General Mark Bellini is a native of Bethel
Park, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the
U.S. Army in 1979 through the Gannon University Army ROTC program
following graduation from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where
he received a bachelor's degree in economics.
Bellini has served in a variety of command and staff positions
throughout his Army career. He has commanded tactical units at
every level, company, battalion and brigade, culminating his time
as commanding general, United States Army Quartermaster Center and
School, as the 49th Quartermaster General of the Army and the
deputy commanding general, Fort Lee, Virginia. He completed his
last assignment in Europe where he was the deputy chief of staff,
G4 of Headquarters, United States Army Europe, Heidelberg
Bellini holds a Master of Business Administration degree and
master's degrees in strategic studies and military arts and science
(theater operations). He has also attended the German Military's
Higher Command and Staff Seminar at the Fuhrungs Academy, Hamburg
and the Black Sea Security Program at Harvard University's Kennedy
School of Government.
His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service
Medal, Legion of Merit (two oak-leaf clusters), Bronze Star Medal,
Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four
oak-leaf clusters), Joint Service Commendation Medal (one oak-leaf
cluster) and the Army Commendation Medal (one oak-leaf
General Bellini retired in 2011 after nearly 32 years in the
Army. He and his wife Carol reside in Meadville, Pennsylvania and
have three daughters; two are military officers.