College of the Ozarks sent 20 students, along with World War II Veteran Hall Duncan, to Normandy from June 2-13 as part of the Patriotic Education Travel Program. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings along the Normandy coast during World War II.
During this trip, participants are visiting various sites of World War II in London, Normandy, Brussels, and Amsterdam, including numerous military sites and cultural museums.
This trip marks the College’s 11th tour to Europe, but it is the 24th Patriotic Education Travel Program trip, with previous tours representing World War II, Cold War, Korean War, and Vietnam War. The trip is under the direction of Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities.
“This is the 75th anniversary of the invasion of occupied France and the last major anniversary to have men who actually served in that operation to be in attendance for the ceremony,” Cizek said. “Our students realize the significance of the trip and this anniversary. It will be up to them to pass on the history of those who served and to tell their stories.”
Trip participants for the 2019 Normandy Patriotic Education Travel Program trip:
Cassidy Anderson, senior social work major from Harrison, Arkansas
Tyler Bleau, junior business administration management major from Nixa, Missouri
Emily Braden, senior business administration and public relations double major from Sikeston, Missouri
Kortney Cambers, senior public relations major from Neosho, Missouri
Ryleigh Clark, junior nutrition and dietetics major from Springfield, Missouri
Benjamin Cody, senior accounting major from Cookeville, Tennessee
Spenser Cross, senior history education major from Centerview, Missouri
Justice Daniel, junior criminal justice major from Republic, Missouri
Ty Durnell, junior computer science major from Willow Springs, Missouri
Kaylee Henry, senior elementary education major from Nixa, Missouri
Natalie Hensarling, senior music theater and marketing double major from Olathe, Kansas
Bethany Marteney, senior nursing major from Riley, Kansas
Jordan Mitchell, senior elementary education major from Malden, Missouri
Caleb Nichols, senior public relations major from Russellville, Missouri
Lindsay Pemberton, senior speech communication major from Lebanon, Missouri
Jonathan Plummer, senior business administration major from Branson, Missouri
Mary Reed, senior psychology major from Roland, Arkansas
Christian Slater, senior computer science major from Spokane, Missouri
Jordan Sutton, senior criminal justice from Salem, Missouri
Matthew Weathermon, senior public relations and history double major from Marionville, Missouri
Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities
David Dalton, professor of history
Col. James Schreffler, assistant professor of military science
Cpt. Caleb Dunnam, instructor of military science
Lt. Alex Williams, instructor of military science
Rick Hughes, vice president for vocational programs and chief financial officer, and wife, Elizabeth Hughes
Lori Vanderpool, clinic administrator and patriotic travel nurse, and husband, Kent Vanderpool
About World War II Veteran Hall Duncan
Duncan served as a private first class in the 101st Infantry Regiment of General George Patton’s Third Army and was shot in November 1944 by a sniper as he carried a wounded American soldier to safety from the fighting near Guebling and Bourgaltroff near the German border. Duncan says he was one of the few survivors of his military company from the battles near Guebling and Bourgaltroff.
Nearly 70 years later, in 2011, U.S. Representative James Lankford pinned Duncan with his bronze star and purple heart, during a ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center.
In addition to the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, he received the Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantry Badge 1st Award, and Honorable Service Lapel Button – World War II. He received the French Legion of Honor Medal in France in 2013 due to his service on French soil.
After the war, Duncan, who was born in Oklahoma City, eventually returned to Oklahoma. Now in his mid-nineties, Duncan retired from the University of Central Oklahoma after teaching cartooning, illustration, and advertising design for 17 years. He earned his doctorate in education with an emphasis in cross-cultural communication at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. After retiring in 1986, he became a full-time cartoonist, writer, and illustrator. Duncan has been published by Cambridge University, the New Readers Press in Syracuse, New York, and many other notable publishing houses.
In June of 2012, Duncan was one of the seven Veterans who traveled to Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic with College of the Ozarks. He currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma.
(Photo information: World War II Veteran Hall Duncan is traveling with the Patriotic Education Travel Program from June 2-13, to Normandy, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Duncan, who is a good friend of the College, has a lifetime array of artwork on display in the Ralph Foster Museum on the College campus. This will be Duncan’s second time traveling with College of Ozarks students and staff across seas.)