ASU commemorates Veterans Day
by Anna Oakes
Loew -- a student who has returned to Appalachian State University to complete degree work he began in 1982, before 23 years in the Army -- was the featured speaker at ASU's Veterans Day ceremony held at the B.B. Dougherty Administration Building Monday.
"Remember the pain of a widow" and the children who have lost a parent, he said. "Think -- vote in every election," he said, and consider the veterans who return from combat needing a lifetime of care and support.
Finally, he said, be educated about world events and how they affect Americans, and consider carefully what is worth sending soldiers in harm's way.
Loew enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1986. In 1990, he was selected to attend the Special Forces qualification course as a Special Forces weapons sergeant. He served at a variety of posts before being assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg in 2000 as the team sergeant of a Special Forces Team. He led his team on two deployments to Afghanistan.
Loew was selected to serve as a company first sergeant in 2004. Following his promotion to sergeant major, he served as the battalion command sergeant major of the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion for two years before his retirement from the Army in January 2009. During his more than 23 years in the Army, Loew traveled extensively on six continents, and was deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan four times.
ASU English professor and N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti read a poem he wrote in honor of veterans, "Saint Francis' Satyr Butterfly." When Bathanti was named North Carolina's poet laureate in October, he announced plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry.
Bathanti plans to help create a sustainable collaborative model for teaching writing workshops for vets that can be duplicated and delivered anywhere in the state.