Gardner-Webb University Salutes Faculty, Staff and Students with Prior Military Service

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Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 Offers Opportunity to Reflect and Remember 

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. –The day began like many others, but when it ended, a soldier lay dead and another was fighting for his life.  The year was 2002, and a scud missile had blasted through a building in Iraq.  “The explosion tossed us both through a wall,” recalled Mark Anthony, a retired U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret.  “He was killed, while I somehow survived.”

Twenty-one years of service.  Multiple international tours.  Dozens of medals of achievement and commendation.  Two college degrees.  Sergeant Major Mark Anthony retired from active duty in 2009, and now serves as a member of the Gardner-Webb University operations and housekeeping crew.  He had been in the Army for more than 14 years when the missile blast nearly claimed his life.  “I was blessed to be alive,” he shared.  “The good Lord had another plan for me.”

Anthony was rushed to a medical facility and later to a hospital where he laid in traction for 17 days and was in a coma for eight.  His legs suffered the brunt of the damage from the explosion, and he later endured several operations.  Doctors rebuilt his legs, and he has two artificial knees, a steel rod in his right leg, a plate in his hip, and numerous screws and pins holding a variety of bones in place.  He came home to Boiling Springs to heal, and then went back into the Army for another seven years.

With service in Panama, Cuba, Columbia, France, Korea, Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Japan, and Antarctica, there’s not much of the world Anthony has not seen.  Throughout his military career, he’s earned a Silver Star, a Soldier Cross, two Meritorious Service medals, five Army Commendation medals, seven Army Achievement medals, two War of Terrorism Service awards, Southwest Asia Service award, Army of Occupy Service awards, two Purple Heart awards, seven Good Conduct medals, two Humanitarian Service medals, and dozens more badges and honors.

To become a Green Beret in the Army, a candidate must be mentally and physically tough, willing to endure difficult training and face challenges head on.  Anthony is now an established cyclist, even riding across the country from the Carolina coast to California.  He consistently exhibits the character traits that helped him succeed as a Green Beret and says that perseverance is key.  “I had faith,” Anthony shared.  “I didn’t give up.”

As we celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11, Gardner-Webb University salutes the dozens of staff, faculty, and students who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The following list of individuals may not reflect every person in the University family who has served: 

Name Branch Years of Service
Adam Reep U.S. Army

3

Brendon Burch U.S. Navy

20

Carl Wick U.S. Air Force

6

Daniel Buckley U.S. Army/U.S. Army Reserves

9

Daniel Lynam U.S. Coast Guard

21

David Brooks U.S. Navy

4

Donnie DeVaughn U.S. Army

24

Eddy R. Malave U.S. Army

24

Dr. Frank Bonner U.S. Army Reserve

22

Gerald L. Keown U.S. Navy

4

James Humphries U.S. Army

23

Dr. James Nall U.S. Marine Corps

20

Jason Dancy U.S. Army

11

Jeff Frye U.S. Army

11

Jarrett Clontz U.S. Army Reserve

7+

Joseph Adams U.S. Navy

9

Joseph LaRue U.S. Marine Corps

8

Joseph Moore U.S. Army Reserve

6

Karen Forester U.S. Marine Corps

4

Kenneth Phelps U.S. Army

7

Latasha Gooden U.S. Army Reserve

5

Leah Helms U.S. Air Force

4

M. Joanie Dickson U.S. Air Force

6

Mark Anthony U.S. Army Special Forces

22

Mark Cole U.S. Navy

23

Nichelle Scott U.S. Navy

8

Patrick Walker U.S. Army

10

Dr. Robert Spear U.S. Army/U.S. Army Reserves

27

Robert Young U.S. Army

20

Sherrie Boggs Lee Army National Guard

6

Sue C. Fair U.S. Army

8

Terry Payne U.S. Army

4

 

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).