November 06, 2008

SIUC to hold Veterans Day ceremony

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Retired United States Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Carl Hunsinger will present the keynote address at a Veterans Day ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Interim Chancellor Sam Goldman also will speak during the ceremony, which begins at noon at the Old Main Flagpole. Admission is free. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will move to the Student Center. University offices are closed and there are no classes Tuesday in observance of Veterans Day.

For 24 hours preceding the ceremony, a combined operation of approximately 100 cadets from SIUC’s Army and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps will conduct a time-honored tradition honoring those who have served. Two cadets will stand a silent vigil beginning at noon, Monday, Nov. 10, at the Old Main Flagpole in remembrance of the nation’s prisoners of war and those who remain missing in action. The guard changes every 15 minutes during the 24-hour period that runs until noon, Tuesday.

At Tuesday’s ceremonies, cadets will perform a 21-gun salute and provide color guard. The Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity will perform the National Anthem. Andrew Mikulay, a student at Murphysboro High School, will perform “Taps.”

Hunsinger retired earlier this year after more than 30 years active duty, according to his biography. Hunsinger’s last station in Southwest Asia was command chief master sergeant for the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing. Hunsinger entered the Air Force in June 1978 after three years as a police officer and correctional officer.

His major awards and decorations include a bronze star medal with one oak leaf cluster, a meritorious service medal with six oak leaf clusters, and an Air Force commendation medal with five oak leaf clusters.