URI’s ROTC Cramer’s Sabers Battalion and ROTC Alumni Chapter to dedicate new Hall of Fame, Sept. 20, Saturday

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KINGSTON, R.I., Sep. 17, 2014 – This weekend’s University of Rhode Island football game will give fans a chance to honor others in the field: veterans.

A new ROTC Hall of Fame in the Memorial Union will be formally dedicated Saturday, Sept. 20, at 11 a.m. The event coincides with URI’s Military Appreciation Day football game, also on Saturday, at 1 p.m.

Expected to attend the ceremony are URI President David M. Dooley, Retired Gen. Leon LaPorte ’68, URI ROTC Alumni Chapter President and Retired Col. Tom Heaney, and former Hall of Fame inductees, including Retired Col. Bill Babcock.

The space, on the first floor of the union, honors the achievements of ROTC alumni who made significant contributions to the Army and their communities. Some were killed in action; others fought in important battles.

Visitors will find a large interactive television that shows photos and biographies of the inductees, as well as historical videos from the time they served. The space also has new furniture.

The ROTC program involves students from URI, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University. The URI program is known as Cramer’s Sabers Battalion, named after First Lt. Parker Dresser Cramer ’59, who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1963. He was the first URI alumnus to die in the Vietnam War.

The Memorial Union was built with contributions from students and alumni and opened in 1954. The building was dedicated as a living memorial to the 187 members of the URI community killed during World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Many people contributed to the success of the Hall of Fame. Alumni contributions and proceeds from the annual Lt. Col. (Retired) Paul F. Helweg, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament helped pay for it. URI and students also helped with the project, working closely with the ROTC Alumni Chapter.

Pictured above: URI’s new Hall of Fame that celebrates achievements of ROTC alumni. Photo by David Accetta, a retired Army officer and member of the ROTC Alumni Chapter Board of Directors