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U.S. Military Veterans Share Experiences and Insight at Annual IRSC Veterans Panel

U.S. Military Veterans Share Experiences and Insight at Annual IRSC Veterans Panel

November 14, 2019 Robert Lane

Indian River State College (IRSC) welcomed students, United States military veterans, and community members to its annual Veterans Panel held Thursday, November 7, on the Pruitt Campus in Port St. Lucie. During the event, military veterans—who served in conflicts ranging from WWII to Operation Enduring Freedom—shared their experiences in the armed forces. Dr. Harvey Arnold, Provost of the IRSC Pruitt Campus and Vietnam Veteran, served as moderator.

The panel consisted of: Louis Viscosi, WWII, Army, Infantry, who served in France; Ronald Winkelmann, Army, Sergeant, who served in Korea; Skip Wood, Navy Pilot, Lieutenant/Commander who served in Vietnam; Lee Bertman, Army and Coast Guard Auxillary Pilot, SPC 4, who served in Vietnam; Kayonda Fewquay-Williams, Air Force, who served in Germany and Cuba; Thomas McDowell, Air Force, who served in Iraq, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia; and Robert William Conniff, USMC, who served in Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, and Afghanistan.

At age 93, Louis Viscosi was the most senior military veteran of the group. Viscosi joined the Army at 18 years of age, and served during WWII in Le Havre, France, with the 70th Infantry Division until it was deactivated and he was moved to the 4th Infantry Division.

Panelist Skip Wood, U.S. Navy, addressed the topic of leadership saying, “The can-do attitude is I think what you learn in the military. You can do it no matter what—because you might lose your leaders, and so you’ve got to step up.” As the panel closed, Wood encouraged the students in attendance, “Keep setting goals for yourself, and give back to this wonderful country, we need leaders.”

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