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United We Stand?
At College of Mount Saint Vincent, Remembering a War the Media Forgot
3/26/2008 -

Riverdale, NY - To combat the lack of media coverage and therefore a lack of knowledge about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Residence Life at the College of Mount Saint Vincent will host a program entitled “United We Stand?” giving students, faculty, and the general public a greater understanding of the effects of war on the American military and provide a personal look at the men and women who courageously served, and still serve today in war zones overseas.

The program will include representatives from each of the United States fighting forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and Maries.  Retired Air Force Colonel Robert F. Porr will be the keynote speaker. The program will feature members of the college community who have gone to war: Kelvin Gentles, Army Reserve Sergeant and class of 2005; Matthew McDevitt, Army Reserve, and Vice-President for Business; and Dr. Joseph Skelly, history professor and Army Reservist.

In the initial years of the war on terrorism, support for soldiers was high due to daily news features on the heroic men and women in our armed forces. “As we approach the 5 year anniversary of the war,” said Brian Johnson, the program’s coordinator and the Assistant Director of Residence Life at the Mount, “the media has found it better to have Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan as front page news while the war is slowly forgotten.”

In addition to guest speakers, memorabilia from the war will be on display. These items include Iraqi money, weapons, and equipment used by American soldiers. The program will act as a fundraiser for the U.S.O. (United Service Organizations) Metropolitan NY, a group dedicated to the well-being and morale of soldiers.

Brian Johnson created the idea of the forum. He felt there was a need to inform people that this country is still at war. “I want to reach out to students,” said Johnson, “we have alumnae and professors who have served with distinction in Iraq. When you turn on the TV and war coverage is not even there…its crazy how we have become desensitized to it. People are forgetting.”
The program will be held on Thursday, March 27th at 7:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall which is located on the college campus. Members of the community are encouraged to attend. It is a chance to learn firsthand the true impact of the war on soldiers. The event is free and attendees are welcome to make a donation to the U.S.O. in support of our troops.

For more information about U.S.O. please visit their website To learn more about the forum “United We Stand?” please contact Brian Johnson at or call (718) 405-3712.