- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
By Shelby Gray
College of the Ozarks student Arayna McElvain of Ava, along with 17 other C of O students, will accompany six WWII Veterans to France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
The trip, which will last from June 2-16, will provide students with the experience of a lifetime, as the Veteran’s guide them through the lands where they once fought.
The six Veterans going on the trip served in either the battles of D-Day, Berlin, or the Battle of the Bulge. Of the Veterans John Primerano, Lou Rabesa and Andy Anderson will be traveling with C of O students for the first time and will join returning Veterans Bill Kamsler, Bryan Sperry and Ned Knapp.
While in Normandy, the students and Veterans will have an in-depth visit to the Normandy American Cemetery, where they will attend the official commemorations of the 67th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
In Berlin, they will tour the Allied Museum in the former Headquarters of the American Forces, which commemorates the generations of soldiers and their families who protected Berlin during the Berlin Airlift.
The last evening of the trip, the group will visit the site where Germany finally surrendered on May 9, 1945, which is now known as the German-Russian Museum.
This trip is part of College of the Ozarks Patriotic Education Travel Program, whose mission is to educate younger generations about the sacrifices of American soldiers so that their stories will never be forgotten. Since the program’s beginning in 2009, more than 100 students have escorted WWII Veterans to battlefields and American cemeteries in England, France, Germany, Belgium, Tunisia, The Netherlands, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and Hawaii.
For more information on the Patriotic Education Travel Program, contact The Keeter Center for Character Education at 417-690-2242.