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ASL Honors Veterans

ASL Honors Veterans

ASL veterans with Nathan Reeve, a Navy veteran, who spoke about Veterans Day at ASL, are from left, (front) Megan Lester, Lyndsey Ellis, Micaela Salazar, Dave Poyer, Charles Todd, Bianka Valdez, Gayle Wilkinson; and (back) Reeve, Cristian Toala-Ramirez, Brielle McKinlay, C.J. Grisham, Kenny Keen, Shane Korthas. Not pictured are ASL veterans Lakendria Perdue, Shawn Cosner and David Turton.

GRUNDY, VA (November 18, 2019) – The Appalachian School of Law honored its veterans last week with a special program followed by a luncheon for the veterans.

Nathan Reeve spoke to those in attendance about his service in the U.S. Navy, noting that when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center fell, he felt the call to duty and enlisted, leaving for bootcamp in August 2002. For the next 16 years, he continued to serve in a variety of special operations posts before separating from the Navy last November at the rank of Chief Petty Officer (E7).

Reeve, who is the husband of ASL student Keri Mills, spoke about what Veterans Day means to him, noting there are 18 million veterans in the United States who have answered the call to duty. Each year, he said, about 200,000 of them retire.

In talking about Veterans Day, he noted he wanted to remember two of the men he had served with – Andres Morena and Nate Wilson.

He told of Morena’s trek to the United States and what Morena endured in crossing the border four times before he was able to get into the country and to get his green card. On the day Morena got his green card, Reeve said Morena joined the Navy. Later, Morena became a naturalized citizen and had a top secret clearance.

Wilson, he said, came from western Pennsylvania and enlisted in the Navy as Reeve did, shortly after the Twin Towers fell. Wilson has been deployed multiple times and done several combat tours and is currently serving in a combat role today, Reeve said.

“They are the unsung heroes they don’t write books about,” Reeve said. “This is what Veterans Day means to me. Many more have done things just as honorably as these.”

Reeve noted he never knows how to reply when someone thanks him for his service.

“What I think is of course, what else would I do – but that is not the right thing to say,” Reeve said, noting he appreciates the thank yous and further that “you’re welcome,” doesn’t cover it as an adequate response.

“I’m still willing to give everything to my country and the communities we live in. Being a veteran is absolutely the honor of my lifetime,” he said.

Reeve noted when he sees big car dealership flags flying, it’s a sight that gets to him.

“I don’t take freedom for granted and I don’t take your thanks for granted,” he added.

One ASL veteran in attendance said she had wrestled with the same thing as far as what to say when thanked for her service, until it was suggested to her that perhaps the best thing to say was to return with a “thank you for your support.” It’s something Reeve said he would use in the future as a reply.

He reminded those in the appellate courtroom to give veterans who have completed their military service a new mission. Oftentimes once they retire or are honorably discharged from their particular branch of service, their attempts to find a job in private industry are met by employers concerned about their lack of training in a specific business field, Reeve said.

“Whether it’s today or tomorrow, if there’s a mission you can help a veteran find, keep us in mind,” Reeve said. “My mission now is to find my place in business and I will help every veteran I can to find a new mission.”

At the conclusion of Reeve’s presentation, he asked each of the ASL veterans in attendance to tell a little about their own service in the military.

Members of the Grundy High ROTC program presented the colors at the start of the ceremony and ASL student Josh Wysor sang the national anthem.

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November 18, 2019

Media Contact: Cathy St. Clair – 276.202.0383 or cstclair@asl.edu