A star-spangled tribute to those who serve

Published 12.03.2021

Student News
Faculty & Staff

Working in tandem and unfazed by winter's insistent approach, Hammer and Beaver hoist a strand of stars into place.Beaver prepares to attach the 2021 addition to the growing collection of keepsake ornaments crafted by Financial Aid employee (and Air Force veteran) Kimberly Venti.Stars, fashioned in a campus machining lab, dance in the midday breeze.Hammer hangs a prior year's ornament, filled with colored ribbons that honor the college's military family. Hammer graduates this month in information technology: network specialist concentration. He already holds degrees in electronics technology: electronics engineering technology emphasis (2007) and building automation technology (2009).To the accompaniment of seasonal songs from the nearby Madigan Library clock tower, two employees from Penn College's Major General Fred F. Marty Veterans and Military Resource Center finished decorating the Veterans Holiday Tree near the main campus entrance on Friday afternoon. Chet Beaver, coordinator of veteran and military services, and Nick J. Hammer, a work-study student, lent their capable hands to hanging seven strings of stars – one star for each of the 238 military personnel in the college family – and seven glass balls containing commemorative ribbons sold in a Veterans Club fundraiser. This year's ornament, in appropriate Wildcat blue, contains 42 ribbons bearing the names of their purchasers' designated honorees. The annual Giving Tree ribbon sale benefits The Fisher House Foundation, which oversees a network of comfort homes, where families of wounded veterans can stay at no cost while their loved ones are receiving treatment.