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November 13, 2003

Deaf Studies students honor veterans at OU-C

From: Chillicothe Gazette, OH - Nov 13, 2003

By CLAIRE CAHOON Gazette Staff Writer

Sign Language interpreting students got some practical experience last night, as Ohio University Chillicothe's Deaf Studies department conducted its Veterans Day ceremony.

Department head Janet Duvall helped to organize the annual event, which drew 500 people last year. High winds and a tornado warning kept some away, but those at the program Wednesday brimmed with respect for their soldiers.

The program, entitled "Let Freedom Ring," was filled with patriotic music. Deaf Studies students interpreted the lyrics for audience members.

"It gives them practice and experience in front of a live audience. It's everything they're going to have to deal with in real life," Duvall said. "These are first and second year students. They had to take a song and reword it in American Sign Language."

An average day for an interpreter could take them anywhere, to the classroom or the court room.

"Anywhere you would go, an interpreter goes," Duvall said.

The opportunity to interpret complex concepts like song lyrics was excellent experience for the students.

The program included celebration and thanks for the many sacrifices of our armed forces. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Color Guard presented the colors, as well as the flags of the four branches of the military.

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Stanley Clark acted as guest speaker for the evening. His speech had an unusual focus, the unsung heroes of the military - the family.

"Many times the ones who are readily forgotten are the families. The families and the support they provide is what drives us along," Clark said. "It is like renewed strength to the spirit."

Clark talked about the difficulty of the family left behind while the soldier serves. He told the audience about his wife working hard to shovel snow and raise a daughter, all while her husband was far away.

"The family supports us by giving us a purpose," he said. "We know we are fighting and defending them."

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