Marywood vets participate in Scranton Reads program


Veterans (from left to right) 2nd Lt. Rod Merkley, Sgt. 1st Class Ty Mah, Petty Officer 1st Class Melanie Peternel and Staff Sgt. Joel Lesh lead discussion on The Red Badge of Courage.

Autumn Granza, Community Editor

On Oct. 10, Marywood’s student veterans lead a discussion on Stephen Crane’s “The Red Badge of Courage,” a book that takes place during the American Civil War. It shows the similarities between today’s soldiers and soldiers from years ago. The vets discussed their own experiences and compared them to the work.

The discussion was sponsored by the Scranton Reads program. Scranton Reads is a month long event organized by the City of Scranton and the Lackawanna County Library System. Every year, members of the Scranton Reads committee choose a book and organize discussions and other events that occur during the month of October.

Marywood veterans participated for the first time this year.

“The best part is that this allows them an opportunity to share their experiences,” said Lauren Williams, director of military and veteran services. “That opportunity is not always given.”

Veterans chosen to participate in the discussion belong to the Student Veteran Alliance at Marywood. The Student Veteran Alliance is a club on campus that helps students and student veterans with their needs but, also helps veterans transition from military service to civilian life. The club has about forty members.

Audience members asked the veterans questions about the book or their experiences in the military.

“A lot of people do not personally know a veteran,” said Petty Officer 1st Class, Melanie Peterne, philosophy major. “Events like this help show who veterans are when they are sitting in front of you answering questions; it makes them more of a person instead of a concept.”