Keynote speaker David Edwards

Keynote speaker David Edwards

Ironton High School Varsity Singers

Ironton High School Varsity Singers

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11th Annual Veterans Tribute at Southern Campus honors all who served


IRONTON, Ohio –Crystal Savard is a wife, mother and nursing student at Ohio University Southern. Her classmates may not know that she is also a sergeant in the West Virginia National Guard. She has served for nearly 10 years as a heavy equipment operator – running everything from a skid steer to a bulldozer. 

Currently, the Southern Campus has 45 veteran or military affiliated students.

Savard, who lost her civilian job in 2015, decided to turn the adversity into opportunity and go back to school. “My husband thought it was the perfect opportunity to do what I was passionate about and to pursue my dreams, so with his encouragement here I am,” Savard said.

Although it can sometimes be difficult to balance service with coursework, Savard has no regrets. “I love being a member of the Guard. When disaster strikes, we are there to help put the pieces back together – I love being able to do that,” she said. Savard doesn’t question her decision to go back to school either. “It’s completely worth it is knowing that when your military contract is over, you’ll have a job waiting for you,” she added.  

Recognizing students like Savard as well as the veterans from area communities has been a proud tradition on the Southern Campus. In its eleventh year, the annual Veterans Tribute honors all who have served. 

Veteran’s Services Coordinator and Planning Committee Chair Teresa McKenzie is a veteran herself. “I’m incredibly touched by the veterans who participated in today’s event and all of those who made it possible,” McKenzie said. 

Retired United States Air Force Senior Master Sergeant and Director of the Ohio University Veterans and Military Student Services Center David Edwards served as keynote speaker for the Nov. 9 program. 

“I am deeply honored to have been a part of this event commemorating and remembering the sacrifice of the men and women who have laid down their lives—and continue to lay down their lives— in service to our country,” Edwards said. “It is clear that Ohio University has a rich tradition of honoring our military individuals."