He started his adult life homeless, and entered the Army to get a roof over his head. But when U.S. Army Spc. Yasser Richard ’13 saw a barefoot child in threadbare clothes on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, he knew how lucky he was. He promised himself that he would dedicate his life to helping people escape a life of poverty.
Most have lost limbs and some have lost hope, but all of them find freedom in the water.
Anzio Beach, Monte Cassino, Normandy: To most, these are names from a map or history book. To Charles Phallen, emeritus professor of technology education, they are places he served valiantly in World War II and visits now, at age 94, to receive honors from a grateful populace or pay respects at the graves of fallen comrades.
The U.S. Army recently recognized Eileen Jevis ’01 with the Commander’s Award for Public Service, the fourth highest honor that can be given to a civilian.
“It’s pretty hard if you think about it — you’re sitting in a vehicle in Iraq and a roadside bomb goes off. The next thing you remember is being in Germany a few days later and flying 12 hours overnight to get to Walter Reed,” Lt. Cl. Mary King ’76, M.D. says. “It’s difficult for me to see young men and women who were very productive have their lives changed.”
When Mike Waters ’70 was a struggling veteran and a SUNY Oswego student, he always worked a job or two to get by. Now he is offering today’s student-veterans a scholarship aimed at helping them fulfill their collegiate dreams.
Standing waist-deep in rushing waters, Capt. Robert Burke ’05 patiently threads his tackle.
His rod tightly tucked under his arm, he pinches the line to tie the fly.
Amid the shimmering waters, he clutches the reel and casts. The metronome motion scrapes the fly gently on the water. The line moves in gentle loops and waves.
Here in this natural sanctuary, Burke’s head runs as clear as the water. For him and his fellow soldiers, it’s a place to heal, hope and think.