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History, education focal points of WC veterans ceremony

United States Marine Corp Cpl. Frank Divins photo

United States Marine Corp Cpl. Frank Divins was the guest speaker at Weatherford College’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony held Thursday, Nov. 8.

A graduate of the WC Associate Degree Nursing Program, Divins shared his story of growing up in an unhealthy environment full of alcohol, drugs and illegal activity and how WC was one piece of the puzzle that changed his life.

As a child, Divins was removed from his home twice by CPS and ultimately placed in the care of an older brother who signed the paperwork when he was 17 for him to enter the Marines.

Divins was the first of his family to attend college, and he is currently attending Texas Tech online to complete his bachelor’s degree.

“I know this isn’t just my story,” Divins said. “I’m not alone in this. Many of you have similar stories. We all deal with life’s circumstances. We always have a choice. We’ve got to better ourselves, better our future, better our families.”

As WC prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary, President Dr. Tod Allen Farmer noted how this vast history of changing lives would not have been possible “without the service of countless numbers of veterans who protected both our freedom and our right to teach and learn.”

The cornerstone of WC was laid on July 5, 1869. Farmer pondered how many of those early students, faculty and staff were Civil War Veterans.

Corporal Max N242, a bomb-sniffing Labrador Retriever“During the World War I era, 1917 was the year the United States declared war and the year that Weatherford College first admitted women,” he said. “Later, in 1942, during World War II, Weatherford College suspended the football program for the duration of the war due to the absence of men.

“In the Vietnam era, Weatherford College began teaching classes at Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells in the fall of 1963. Ninety-five percent of the G.I. helicopter pilots in the Vietnam War were trained at Fort Wolters in the United States Army Primary Helicopter School. Many became WC students.”

Farmer also recounted the stories of WC’s most famous veterans including General William Hood Simpson, Speaker Jim Wright and 1st Lt. Jack L. Knight.

“The Korean War memorial in Washington D.C. appropriately reminds us that freedom is not free,” Farmer said. “Today we gather to honor all of our veterans who protected and preserved our national freedom. Today we gather to honor those on active duty around the world who are currently protecting our great nation. And today we gather to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives in defense of God and country.”

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Photos:

  • United States Marine Corp Cpl. Frank Divins speaks at the Veterans Day Ceremony.
  • Bob and Jeep: Veteran and President of the WC Foundation, Bob Glenn, brought his 1971 M 151 A2 Army Jeep from the Vietnam Era to this year’s event.
  • WC students visit with Corporal Max N242, a bomb-sniffing Labrador Retriever who saved thousands of lives during his five deployments.

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