By Brianna Saucier
Almost 100 veterans attended Cedarville’s annual Veteran’s Day chapel on Friday, Nov. 10.
The annual Veteran’s Day chapel is a way for Cedarville to honor those who served in the armed forces. This year, the chapel was and was led by Army Air Corp. veteran Dr. Cliff Johnson and accompanied by the Cedarville Jazz Band.
The band performed several numbers to commemorate the country’s 98th celebration of Veteran’s Day and looked at how music influenced the war effort in America.
Each of the veterans who attended the event had a story of their service to America.
One veteran was David Kure, who served in the Army and was stationed at Japan’s northernmost island during the Korean War. Kure enlisted directly out of high school.
“It was just something you do,” he said. “It was either enlist or be drafted.”
Kure decided to take his granddaughter’s offer of coming to see Cedarville’s Veteran’s Day event for the first time this year. Kure’s granddaughter performed at the event as one of the singers and had her own solo.
A friend of Kure and fellow veteran, Rodney Geiger, also attended the event. Geiger came to chapel with his wife of 51 years and his children.
“Veteran’s Day chapel is the greatest,” Geiger said. “Our children graduated from Cedarville so I have been able to be here for just about all of them. I really like to come to this program and I love my fellow veterans.”
Geiger represented his branch by wearing his original Navy uniform. Geiger is a 75-year old veteran who was stationed at the Pearl Harbor Submarine Base in Hawaii. Geiger got out in 1962, where one of his biggest struggles was trying to visit some friends now that he was home. He ended up traveling over 6000 miles with 85 different rides and just $26 in his peacoat.
Despite the hardships and difficulties overseas and even getting home, Geiger’s time in the service helped him more spiritually than he could have ever predicted.
Geiger accepted Christ as his savior while he was waiting for a flight across the Atlantic.
A friend approached him who knew his older brother stationed at Pearl Harbor, and recounted stories of his ‘drinking buddy’ and what he was up to, which devastated Geiger.
“I bowed my knees to Jesus Christ that night,” Geiger said. “I said, ‘Okay Lord, my brother’s this way and I better get my life right.’ I trusted Christ as my Savior and I never looked back.”
Geiger considers himself blessed from his time in the service and from his relationship with Christ.
“We’re not the perfect family, and I’m not the perfect husband, but Jesus Christ is the perfect Savior and he’s made all the difference in my life,” Geiger said.
Another veteran attending the chapel, Gleneon Lorenzo, had only been in the service for two years, but it still left its mark.
Lorenzo was an Army Ranger and was stationed in Korea during the war. Lorenzo came from a military family, with nine family members who served overseas and the youngest killed at just 21 years old. Lorenzo joined the military at just eighteen years old because he “felt like [he] needed to.”
Some of Lorenzo’s high school friends also joined in different branches. One went Navy, two joined the Air Force, and another became a doctor, but most have since passed away.
Veteran’s Day means a great deal to Lorenzo, he said. He has attended Cedarville’s celebration for the past eight years.
“I think about the guys that lost their lives,” Lorenzo said. “They are the reason why I wear this [gestures to uniform he is wearing]–to represent them.”
Brianna Saucier is a freshman English major and Campus reporter for Cedars. She enjoys soccer, photography, and Army ROTC.