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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Sen. Mark Warner to Speak at ODU Veterans Day Event

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner will speak at Old Dominion University's Veterans Day observance on Thursday, Nov. 10.

The ceremony also will feature remarks from Rear Adm. Patrick Piercey, commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, and Old Dominion President John R. Broderick. Student veteran groups and the University's Army and Naval ROTC Units will also participate.

The observance will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Kaufman Mall (with a rain location of the North Mall of Webb University Center) during the University's activity hour so that members of the ROTC units can participate.

The event will pay tribute to our nation's veterans, but also will celebrate the significance of ODU's military partnerships. More than one-quarter of ODU's student body has a direct connection to the military.

"Veterans Day is an opportunity for all Americans to pause, recognize and reflect upon the selfless sacrifice and dedication of the outstanding men and women, both past and present, that have chosen to step up and wear the cloth of our great nation in defense of all that we hold dear," said retired Navy Capt. Robert Clark, Old Dominion's director of military activities.

"We must also take this time to recognize and deliver a heartfelt 'thank you' to the families across the country who have provided unyielding support to our service members."

With thriving Army and Naval ROTC units, a Military Connection Center, a Veterans Business Outreach Center and countless collaborative efforts with local and regional military installations, ODU is proud of its significant military links. For five straight years, the national publication Military Times has included Old Dominion in the top 30 four-year institutions that it labels "Best for Vets."

Warner, a Democrat, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 and re-elected in 2014. He serves on the Senate Finance, Banking, Budget and Intelligence committees and is a frequent visitor to Old Dominion.

During his time in the Senate, Warner has won praise as a bipartisan leader who has worked with Republicans and Democrats on efforts to increase government performance and accountability and promote private-sector innovation and job creation.

Warner has advocated for military service members and veterans and worked to find solutions to our country's debt and deficit problems.

Piercey, a native of Clinton, Oklahoma, was commissioned as an officer of the U.S. Navy in 1985, following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. He has had several sea and shore assignments during a career that spans more than 30 years. Piercey became commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic in October 2016.

He has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal (oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (two gold stars), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four gold stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two gold stars) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Members of the Old Dominion University community who wish to attend the Veterans Day observance are urged to RSVP online or call 757-683-3116.

Attendees are encouraged to bring travel-sized toiletries to be given to local veterans and write a holiday card to a deployed service member at the letter-writing station. Toiletry items will be donated to Veterans Homefront, a local non-profit working to end homelessness among veterans.

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