Meshel awarded, YSU vets reconnect

 Veterans and ROTC alumni of Youngstown State University will spend the weekend celebrating their service to the country.

A reunion dinner and awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at Williamson Hall. The dinner will include updates from the ROTC, the YSU Office of Veterans Affairs and the YSU Alumni Society, while the YSU Jazz Ensemble will perform.

“The intent of this dinner is to start a chapter of people that have served their country at YSU,” said Jim Olive, coordinator of the YSU Office of Veterans Affairs.

In addition, the terrace dinner, which includes a full buffet and reserved seating, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and a block of tickets for the football game against the Indiana State University Sycamores will be reserved for attendees.

Heather Belgin, an events coordinator for alumni and events management, said the weekend events give current and former soldiers time to connect.

“This group has a common bond, and it’s nice to bring them all together at something like this,” she said.

Friday’s dinner will feature the granting of the Cincinnatus Award to former state Sen. Harry Meshel, a World War II veteran and a member of the YSU Board of Trustees.

“There have been different ROTC dinners in the past, but this is the first year the award will be granted at the dinner,” Belgin said.

The Cincinnatus Award is given annually to a veteran who continues to serve his country after serving his country in uniform.

Olive will present the award to Meshel.

“He’s a tremendous asset to the university, the state and this country,” Olive said. “He came back to civilian life and has continued to serve the community.”

Meshel served as a Navy Seabee in the South Pacific for two years. He said he appreciates receiving the award, but does not see himself as any better than other veterans.

“It’s a really outstanding honor, but I’m just one of many people that should be credited for serving in the military,” Meshel said.

Of his service to the Youngstown community and the state of Ohio, Meshel said it’s work that he truly loves.

“Getting into legislation was perfect for me ‘cause I like to get things done, but also I like working with people,” he said.

Meshel was chosen among nominees like Bernie Kosar Sr., a YSU ROTC alumnus, and Joseph Mosca, dean of the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services. Both are veterans of the U.S. Army.

For more information about the reunion or to make a reservation, contact Belgin at [email protected]