group rededicates Nay Aug garden | Lackawanna College

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Lackawanna College veterans group rededicates Nay Aug garden

Students, alumni, staff, and guests participating in the Veterans Day dedication at Nay Aug Park are, from left, Army Pfc. Nicholas Chestnut, Class of 2013; Liz Wassel, Lackawanna College Veterans Certifying Official; Army Pfc. Daniel Hailstone, Class of 2011; Army Sgt. 1st Class James Kille with Quarterback; Former Scranton Mayor and Army 1st Lt. David Wenzel ; USMC Lance Cpl. Perry Cross, Class of 2012; Army Staff Sgt. Frank Lesnefsky; U.S. Navy LS3 (SW/AW) Peter Howey; National Guard Spc. Frank Acker ; and Jo-Ann Orcutt, Lackawanna College Veterans In Action advisor.

SCRANTON, Pa. – Members of a Lackawanna College Student-Veterans group took time on Nov. 11 to honor the service and sacrifice of Vietnam War veterans during the dedication of a reclaimed memorial garden in Nay Aug Park.

Students involved in the Lackawanna College Veterans In Action (LCVIA) group discovered a previous monument to Vietnam War veterans during a day of service in March 2011. After many hours of volunteer work in Nay Aug Park completed over the last year and a half, the group and other students relocated the small monument and created a memorial garden surrounding the flagpole adjacent to the Everhart Museum, 1901 Mulberry St., Scranton. A peace sign shape for the garden was chosen to signify the era of that war.

The monument reads, “Dedicated to all Vietnam veterans who fought and died during an unpopular war. God will be with them always because they came, they fought, they died, but they did not run.”

U.S. Army veteran Sgt. 1st Class James Kille, of Honesdale, a criminal justice – counseling major at Lackawanna College, served as master of ceremonies for the Veterans Day event. Kille served in the Army from 1987 to 2009.

“It’s a small token of our respect and appreciation that Lackawanna College and the veterans at the College have for you,” Kille said to the Vietnam veterans in attendance.

Former Scranton Mayor David Wenzel, who survived a landmine explosion during a tour in Vietnam, served as the keynote speaker. Wenzel encouraged those in attendance to continue advocacy work for soldiers who return home as they may need assistance in being acclimated back into civilian or student life.

In addition to Kille and Wenzel, the small service was attended by Lackawanna College student veterans and alumni, staff, and friends. The Northeast Marine Corps League Detachment #304 served as color guard and performed “Taps” at the conclusion of the memorial dedication. Peter Howey, of Scranton, a criminal justice major, played echo “Taps.” Howey joined the U.S. Navy in 2007 and continues to serve as a LS3 (SW/AW).

Lackawanna College recognizes that the qualities possessed by veterans are the same qualities sought in prospective students. For more information on returning to class at Lackawanna College, contact the admissions office at (570) 961-7814 or For information on the Lackawanna College Veterans In Action, contact Jo-Ann Orcutt at (570) 961-7873.