By Harley Anderson
Seneca Battalion cadets are surmounting the task of researching St. Bonaventure University’s involvement in the Korean War. After identifying multiple graduates, cadets have been seeking to find more information on each one and, when possible, meet with the veterans in person.
Such as in the case of veteran John R. Lanz, whom Conor Farley and Noah Burton had the opportunity to meet with at the Celebration of Excellence Luncheon held in Doyle Hall Friday.
A 1950 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Lanz served in WWII as a minesweeper in the U.S. Navy. He later served in the Korean War after he joined the Army through the ROTC program provided at St. Bonaventure.
Cadets spent the luncheon with Lanz, sharing a meal and listening to stories of Lanz’ time in the service. He also brought several mementos he had from the war, including documents, photos, maps and even a custom-painted Zippo lighter, identical to the ones he gifted to his entire battery.
Farley, a sophomore finance major, said he loved the “opportunity to listen to experiences from someone who almost 70 years ago was sitting in the exact same spot as I am today.”
For cadets that will eventually commission as Army officers, Lanz, a Purple Heart recipient, sets an outstanding example of how ROTC can lead to a successful career.
“He shared some personal anecdotes relating to leadership and how to effectively run a unit. Hearing his experiences have given me some inspiration and insight into what goes into being a good leader,” said Farley.
As the cadets continue their research, they remember the importance of recognizing military veterans.
“I think it’s important to listen to their stories. . .the Korean conflict is often overlooked in pop culture, and most people I talk to don’t know much about it. . . This generation of Americans won’t be around forever, and we need to hear their stories before they are gone for good,” said Farley.
“I wanted to be a part of this project because it was an opportunity for me to learn, as well as a chance to meet some American heroes.”