The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

Veterans Honored

Mitchell Carson
American and Military Flags set up with wreath to honor veterans

Penn State Harrisburg honored veterans with its Veterans Day celebration on November 11 at the Vartan Plaza. The ceremony was held to honor veterans on campus as well as across America who served, and those who are currently serving the country. 

The Honor Guard kicked off the ceremony as they planted the American flag and saluted for the National Anthem. 

 Lauren Dinse serves as Associate Director of Student Aid and Veteran Affairs on campus. She welcomed veterans and the people in attendance. Dinse looks forward to the ceremony every year. 

“Veterans Day on campus has been a long standing tradition at Penn State Harrisburg. We have a very large veteran student population,” Dinse said. 

“It’s a small way for us to show our appreciation for veterans not only on campus but also in celebration of all of those who have served across the country,” she added. 

Penn State Harrisburg undergraduate Fabian Vantassell, who is majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology and serving as President of the Student Government Association, delivered the introductory speech. Throughout the speech, Vantessell emphasized the value of veterans. 

“At Penn State Harrisburg, the value of our veterans is high. That’s why we have an office dedicated to them. That’s why we give our time today,” Vantassell described.

“Even when this event passes and the day ends that level of gratitude doesn’t go away. That’s a never ending pledge of appreciation,” he continued. 

The following event in the ceremony was remarks. The remarks were from students and staff who served in the military. The three speakers were Tony Lynch Ph.D, Gibran Jones and Lawrence Kastriba II. All three speeches included experiences and emotions while serving. 

Tony Lynch, Ph.D, serves as Assitant Professor of Supply Chain Mangement with Penn State Harrisburg School of Business. In the early days of his career, Lynch served in the United States Marine Corps. In the marines Lynch was trained in warehousing and logistics. During his speech, Lynch shared what he learned while in the marines. 

“What I learned in the Marine Corps was the importance of liberty. We talk quite a bit about freedom. What I learned was about liberty. But what I came to understand was how important it is to defend liberty,” Lynch said. 

Gibran Jones is part of the Penn State Harrisburg Alumni Association. Jones graduated from Penn State Harrisburg in 2008. Immediately after his high school graduation, he went into the Army. Jones was first stationed at Fort Hood and then was deployed to Iraq for two years in 2003 and 2004. While enlisted in the Army, Jones earned the Primary Leadership Development Medal, Global War on Terrisom Expeditionary Medal, and the Army Accomodation Medal. During his speech, Jones shared what the military taught him. 

“I joined the military because I didn’t want my parents to pay for it. I just know I wanted to be in tech. That was always the goal, so I joined the army,” Jones claimed. 

“The thing that the military teaches you is how to be resilient. How to change your plans and still get to your goal. No hiccup is too big, no failure is permanent, only quitting is permanent,” he added. 

Lawrence Kastriba II graduated from Penn State Harrisburg in 2021, receiving his bachelor’s degree in BA sociology. After his graduation he returned to the campus and is studying to get his masters degree in American Studies. Before entering academics, Kastriba served in the US Army as a sergeant from 2010 to 2016. Kastriba was stationed in Texas in Fort Hood and Fort Bliss. He was also deployed to Iraq twice. 

“When I was asked why I joined the military I had three answers. My first was I had nothing better to do. My second was where am I going to get to drive a tank. My third answer, I wanted to support and defend the first Amendment to the best of my abilities,” Kastriba explained. 

“Where I was in my life, I wanted to do something meaningful, something I have never done before, and something I found impossible. I wanted to see if I had what it took to become a soldier,” he continued.

PSH Honor Guard. (Mitchell Carson) 
Dr. Tony Lynch and Gibran Jones talk about their experiences serving the country (Jenny Guo)
Lawrence Kastriba II speaks about his time in the military.(Mitchell Carson)

Penn State Harrisburg will be hosting this ceremony again next year on Veterans Day, so anyone who is interested in attending should stay tuned for more information. 




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