Retired U.S. Army Col. Dennis McSweeney ’64, of Williamsburg, VA, enjoyed a lifelong career in the military, one that included being awarded the Purple Heart. As a student at Gannon, he participated in ROTC, was commissioned an Army officer. He served on active duty in Vietnam, spending the remainder of his career commanding Soldiers in peacetime. In addition to the Purple Heart, McSweeney received the Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service Medals from the Army.
McSweeney remembers ROTC travel trips to Washington, DC and Indiantown Gap, PA as special times from his Gannon days. He also was fond of the pre and post-parties for basketball games, and his time with the Pershing Rifles, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the Spanish Club and various student sports programs. The emphasis that Gannon placed on teamwork, camaraderie, winning and staying the course helped him find success as a military professional.
When asked to give advice to today’s Gannon students, McSweeney replied, “Never take the easy way out … your word is your bond … do what’s right … and love your family.” His own family now consists of his wife Sheila, children Kelly, Shan and Erin, and grandchildren Cole, Reed, Brady, Ethan, Landon and Sophia.
Now in retirement, McSweeney enjoys marina and boating activities, golf, skiing, American History, public speaking and traveling. Never one to be idle, he intends to continue composing perspectives on historical events, practicing genealogy, traveling and sheltering stray lonely animals.
As a personal motto, Colonel McSweeney shared, “Be fair with others as there is too much hate in our world. Enjoy the human race, they are all we have.”
(published April 2019)