PLATTSBURGH – Jimmy Duvall joined the military after the attacks on Sept. 11 so his younger brother wouldn’t have to.
Duvall spent four years as Marine Corps infantry, serving two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
Clinton Community College students joined Duvall’s peers and the community to honor veterans at the campus on top of the hill overlooking Lake Champlain.
“The Veterans Club at Clinton Community College provides a sense of belonging as you make the transition to civilian life and college life,” Duvall said.
A large crowd gathered for Clinton Community College’s Veterans Club ceremony to honor veterans. The observation began at noon, near the campus flagpole.
The observation included a ceremonial folding of the flag by the Plattsburgh State ROTC Honor Guard, 21 gun salute, TAPS, and a moment of silence for three New York Army National Guard soldiers killed recently in Afghanistan, including former Clinton Community College student Dain Venne from Port Henry.
The Veterans Club also held a raffle, distributed poppies in the lobby, and sold wrist bands and baked goods.
Proceeds of the sales went to the school’s Veterans Assistance Fund.
“The Veterans Club is a useful resource for vets at Clinton Community College,” Duvall said.
Keynote Speaker Thomas Middleton, an Iraq War veteran, alumnus of Clinton Community College and author, called upon those present to honor veterans who sacrificed dearly and to ensure that sacrifice is not in vain.
Duvall is studying computer information systems at Clinton Community College.
Despite the horrors he has seen, he would do it all again and said he is stronger because of the military, which made him who he is today.
He commented on the poor reception Vietnam War veterans suffered through, and stressed that veterans today need to know they are valued.
“Just say thank you,” Duvall said.