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WVU Parkersburg fall commencement will be Dec. 16|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Parkersburg, W.Va., 12/13/11 – West Virginia University at Parkersburg's Fall 2011 Commencement will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16 in the College Activities Center. Commencement speaker will be Major General James A. Hoyer and student speaker will be Jessica Lynch.
The class includes 286 candidates for graduation who will receive approximately 333 degrees and certificates. Participating in the ceremony will be 122 members of the graduating class. WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage will preside over the ceremony. A reception for all of the graduates and their families will follow.
General Hoyer assumed the duties as the adjutant general of the West Virginia Joint Forces Headquarters in February 2011. As adjutant general, he provides command guidance and vision to the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard of more than 6,000 citizen soldiers and airmen. He provides the overall supervision of the day-to-day operations and management of the readiness, fiscal, personnel, equipment and real property resources of the agency. Hoyer received his undergraduate degree from the University of Charleston and was commissioned in 1983, through a joint Reserve Officer Training Corps program with West Virginia State University.
He began his military career in the West Virginia National Guard as a cavalry officer. He attended the Special Forces Officer Qualification course and spent more than 14 years with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group. Hoyer led the development of the West Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and the Joint Interagency Training and Education Center and its Center for National Response, a national level operational and training capability for critical infrastructure protection and consequence response. His most recent assignment was director of joint staff at West Virginia Joint Force Headquarters.
Jessica Lynch is a former U.S. Army soldier who was held captive by Iraqi soldiers during the Iraq War. After graduating from Wirt County High School in 2001, she joined the Army. She left for basic training at Fort Bliss on Sept. 19, 2001 - less than two weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. By March 2003, Lynch was in Iraq with the 507th Maintenance Company. On March 23, 2003, Lynch's company ran into trouble in the city of Nasiriya.
Faulty navigational equipment had led them right into enemy territory, resulting in a 90-minute-long firefight that resulted in the death of 11 American soldiers and the capture of an injured Lynch. For the next week, Lynch was held captive by Iraqi soldiers at Saddam Hospital in Nasiriya. She was rescued soon after by U.S. troops who stormed the facility. Following her rescue, Lynch was eventually transported to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she was treated for injuries, which included multiple fractures of her arms and legs. Since her rescue, Lynch was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals, and has published her biography, “I am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story.” Lynch will graduate from WVU Parkersburg with her Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education this fall.
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