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JCSU salutes veterans, hosts Coast Guard Appreciation Day

Nov. 12, 2018 / Charlotte, N.C.--Johnson C. Smith University students celebrated Veteran’s Day by recognizing veterans and active duty military members with notes of appreciation. The university also hosted officers of the Coast Guard who introduced students to additional resources that can enhance their college experience.

Capt. Adrian West, Lt. Commander Quinton DuBose, Ensen Blair Ogujiofor and Ensen Aarica Carrington shared their service stories, dispelling common misconceptions of military life, and highlighted the Coast Guard’s College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) program, which pays up to two years of undergraduate tuition. West, who took advantage of the program when he was an undergraduate student, encouraged students to look into it. He is one of only 51 African Americans in the 228-year history of the Coast Guard to attain the rank of captain. Currently, he’s one of only 10 active duty African-American captains.

Two JCSU students who are in the armed forces also sat on a panel with the Coast Guard members. Landry Frison ’19, an active duty South Carolina National Guard, and Sameerah Williams ’19, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, offered their perspective on military life to interested students.

Afterward, more than 50 students gathered to write inspiring and uplifting notes to local active-duty veterans as part of Coca-Cola Bottling Company’s Message in a Bottle campaign. The campaign was launched to honor those who inspire and serve every day. JCSU joined the campaign’s efforts to collect thousands of the hand-written messages. The personal notes will be packaged into 253ml Coca-Cola bottles and distributed to military service embers, veterans and their families.

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