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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Medal of Honor Society Visits Columbia Point

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A private dinner honoring Medal of Honor recipients was held at the John F. Kennedy Library, Sept. 18. 

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society stopped by Columbia Point twice in the past week for events in their 2015 Convention, which was held in Boston this year. 
A dinner honoring recipients was held inside the John F. Kennedy Library on Thursday. The booms of two fire trucks held up a giant American flag nearby, hinting at the private function inside.
Medal of Honor recipient, LTC Charles Hagemeister, spoke to students on Wednesday in the Integrated Sciences Complex before praising the Oral History and Veteran Project, a multimedia English class taught by Assistant Professor Erin Anderson.
While taking a semester off from college, Hagemeister was drafted into the Vietnam War and trained as a medic. One day, the platoon was ambushed and the chain of command broken. Hagemeister assumed leadership and risked his life to save those of his fellow soldiers.
Students, faculty, and “Gold Star” families attended the UMass Boston event. The Gold Star award is given to those who have lost loved ones in conflict. 
Graduate Caleb Nelson spoke about last spring’s ENGL 380, ‘Oral History and the Veteran Experience,’ for which he served as the teacher’s assistant.
For the class final project, students interviewed local veterans and condensed the audio into a digital story. SSgt. Ryan Pitts, an army officer from Nashua who received the Medal of Honor, contributed his account. All students in ENGL 308 were veterans. 
“[The class] helped me see that what I did in the military [isn’t] inaccessible to people,” said Nelson, who earned both his undergraduate and graduate degree from UMass Boston. He served as an aviation electrician on the aircraft carrier USS Truman in the mid-to-late 2000s. 
Nelson was invited to the Patriot Award Gala on Saturday night, Sept. 19, another event in the 2015 Convention. 
On Saturday afternoon, Nelson said he felt old memories welling up as he took out and ironed his uniform.
“I think back on the pride of wearing a uniform and being part of a community of people with a common goal. It’s nostalgic to look back on my time [there].”