Veterans and those currently in the military were celebrated Thursday during East Central University’s Veterans and Military Appreciation Day in ECU Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

The event, which was attended by more than 200 people, was conducted by ECU’s Veterans Upward Bound Program, under the direction of Mary Meeks.

Brian Paul, president and founder of Veterans 4 Life USA, delivered the keynote address about his own struggles with post-traumatic stress and addiction while forming Veterans 4 Life USA to help others who are undergoing the same issues.

Bart Culver, a VA. education liaison for the state of Oklahoma, also provided information on recent benefits for veterans. An $8,000 check was presented by Gateway Mortgage to the Folds of Honor Foundation.

The Bret D. Isenhower Scholarship was presented to ECU student Olivia Robertson, of Ada. The scholarship, through the ECU Foundation Inc., is awarded to a veteran (honorably discharged), an actively serving reservist, a child of a veteran or fallen service member or a member of the ECU Greek community who best exemplifies the character and willingness to “serve a purpose greater than his or her self” that was exhibited by Bret Isenhower during his time of military service. The scholarship was established by the ECU GOLD Program and the ECU Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha.

The event also featured more than 50 vendors and booths designed to help veterans and the military with needs such as financial help and educational concerns. A free lunch was also provided to all attendees by Vision Bank-Ada.

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