Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Travel Family

P.O.W. Survivors and Descendants
Left to Right: Steve Kwiecinski, Jan Thompson, Bob Ehrhart, Jim Collier, Jim Erickson, Linda McDavitt, Wayne Carringer, and Culea Abraham.

We are all home safely with our family and friends from our travels to the Philippines.  It was a remarkable journey.  We hope you have enjoyed following the trip via our college blog.  This was done solely by students and they did an outstanding job. 

Please permit us to conclude this trip with a few brief acknowledgements.  We were all honored to travel with the veterans.  The primary goal of this program is to honor those who so nobly served our country.  They are wonderful men and we appreciate their willingness to share their experiences.  We are also grateful to their families for sharing them with us over the past two weeks. 

We are so proud of our students who conducted themselves in a way to bring credit on themselves, their families, our college, their country and their God.  Always prompt, courteous, cheerful and willing to lend a helping hand to everyone.  It was a delight to be with them.

As we were part of a larger group of trip participants, we want to give a special thank you to those who traveled with us.  We enjoyed getting to know all the group members.  Our tour guides, Steve, Marcia and Tommy and their helpers were more than helpful to us on numerous occasions.

We had several members of our tour, including student Culea Abraham, who were descendants of Bataan and Corregidor veterans.  Descendants Jan Thompson and Jim Erickson were invaluable resources with their breadth of knowledge of the Bataan and Corregidor campaigns.  They were instrumental in helping to arrange contacts with veterans who became part of our group.  All are leaders with The Descendants Group of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, an outstanding organization which honors those who so courageously served our country in the Philippines at the outbreak of the war. 

This trip also could not have been possible without the support of the administration, faculty and staff of the College of the Ozarks, particularly the Keeter Center for Character Education.  We are most grateful to be part of an organization that places importance on the promotion and encouragement of patriotic education among its students.

Lori Vanderpool and Fred Mullinax


  1. Thank you sooo much College of the Ozarks and Keeter Center for Education. Your college and this program will become part of my conversation in the years ahead. This is a wonderful program for your students and a blessing to those individuals like these POW's who you honored on this journey.

  2. It was my pleasure to discovered your blog and I am glad that you visit Philippines and as you said you had a remarkable journey here. Hope you visit our country again and bring your friends and enjoy delicious foods, learn our culture and get companion with the hospitable Filipinos. Thank you.