April 24, 2019
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Mount faculty and students spent a recent Saturday afternoon greeting veterans as part of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight program. From left: Mike Daven, professor of Mathematics, and his wife, Naomi, an adjunct Mathematics instructor at the college; and Mount students Cailey Walls of Middle Village, N.Y.; Kate Whitfield of Garden City, N.Y.; James Sherman, a prospective transfer student to the college; and John Marcinak of Highland Falls, N.Y.
Members of Mount Saint Mary College’s Operation Students Supporting Military (OSSM) club recently spent their Saturday at Stewart Airport greeting American heroes and thanking them for their service.
The students joined hundreds of others from the local community to welcome the veterans home from the Hudson Valley Honor Flight program.
Through Hudson Valley Honor Flight, World War II and other war veterans have the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C. and visit memorials built in their honor, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Iwo Jima/United States Marine Corps War Memorial.
At the end of the journey, the veterans arrived home to Stewart Airport to the sound of cheering crowds, including the group of Mount students.
“This experience allowed me to see the important impact of a small gesture,” explained Cailey Walls of Middle Village, N.Y., a senior Business major and president of OSSM at the Mount. “Seeing the smiles on the veterans’ faces will definitely be something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Walls explained that when they originally came home from war, some of the veterans did not receive a proper welcome home celebration. The huge crowds on Saturday were there to rectify the situation.
“Aside from it being a humbling experience, it also makes you realize just how powerful of an impact the community has,” she noted. “I think you don’t realize the impact it makes to these veterans until they see a huge crowd of people that came out for them.”