Veterans Remembered at West Campus
By Sara Liptak
Did you know every day you attend class at the Western Campus you’re on the exact ground of where German prisoners of war, an entire military population and was once the Crile Hospital that covered more than 150 acres to providing care to some 15,000 wounded United States soldiers. Dr. James Banks, Director of Crile Archives for History Education and Rick DeChant, Director of Veterans Services and former Commander made a very intriguing and effective speech presentation on November 9th, at 10:40 a.m. in the Veterans Memorial Garden at Western Campus.
Student groups of Tri-C and also others a part of the community attended this event to honor and remember the Veterans who served for our country. Dr. Banks introduced Darryl Stark who is a retired Sargent and a Veteran, who is now currently a student here at Tri-C. “Healing to learning, learning to heal” is DeChant’s motto within the Crile Archives at Tri-C, and also providing and establishing a 50-year history of working with Veterans in Northeast Ohio. Preserving the memory of Veterans is crucial here on this campus, and Dr. Banks has made this lifelong commitment to do so.
Tri-C is now only the second college in the nation that has a Distance Learning Facility located in a Veterans hospital. Some veterans are not ready to come to college, and the Distance Learning Facility lets those veterans still have a college education with the campus coming to them instead. As of right now, Tri-C has a total of 243 ‘core-users’ who are Veterans coming back 2-3 times per week to work on courses, assignments, and also job applications with benefits, which goes back to DeChant’s motto “leaning to heal, healing to learn.” A total of 24,000 student veterans have gone through this college since Tri-C has opened, including Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland.
“In the 24 months that this hospital was known as Crile General Hospital, 15,000 Veterans were healed, continuing on after until 1964 as Crile VA Hospital where another 5,000 were treated and healed” Banks said. “1 in 33 students at Tri-C is a Veteran” Commander DeChant said. After Dr. Banks and Rick DeChant spoke, 11:00 o’clock AM came around and a wreath was placed in front of the flagpole where our United States of America Flag waves. The taps were played around the Veterans Memorial Garden for a total of 60 seconds of silence as the wreath was placed as well, and the emotions were heavily in the air.