Alumni – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Tue, 12 Oct 2021 21:00:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Alumni – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 After Citadel grad’s death, bill in Congress aims to stop military vehicle rollovers https://today.citadel.edu/after-citadel-grads-death-bill-in-congress-aims-to-stop-military-vehicle-rollovers/ Tue, 12 Oct 2021 21:00:06 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27701 The new aims to improve the safety and effectiveness of military tactical vehicles in honor of Conor McDowell, Class of 2017. ]]>

Note: Marine 1st Lt. Conor McDowell is a member of The Citadel Class of 2017.

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Thomas Novelly

WASHINGTON — In 2019, Conor McDowell, a Citadel graduate and first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, died instantly when his light-armored vehicle flipped over during a training exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego.

In the months since, the 24-year-old Marine’s family has lobbied Congress to investigate their son’s death, asking them to hold the military accountable for hundreds of vehicle rollovers that have killed dozens of service members in the last decade. 

Now, a new bill in Congress titled the “1st Lt. Hugh Conor McDowell Safety in Armed Forces Equipment Act of 2021” aims to improve the safety and effectiveness of military tactical vehicles in his honor. 

Michael McDowell, Conor’s father, said the proposal is one of five bills in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act related to rollover deaths, but the only one named for the former Citadel cadet. 

“We don’t want this just to be about Conor,” McDowell told The Post and Courier. “We want a deep- dive investigation.”

The legislation was introduced by U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Maryland Democrats. If passed it “would help supervisors mitigate and prevent fatal training accidents and develop performance criteria and measurable standards for driver training programs,” the senators said in a news release. 

The main part of the program involves installing equipment on vehicles that would record potential hazards, near-accidents and rollovers so the military can have updated data to use during training. The legislation would:

  • Create a pilot program which would record data on Army and Marine Corps tactical vehicles.
  • Identify near-miss accidents and potential hazards that would otherwise go undetected without the data recorder.
  • Assess individual driver proficiency to allow for tailored training.
  • Establish a database for more consistent implementation of safety programs across installations and units.
  • Require commanders to incorporate the latest data sets and statistics into safety programs.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., and Rob Wittman, R-Va.

“The safety of our young men and women in uniform, particularly during training, must be our top priority,” Brown said. “Tactical vehicle accidents are preventable if we improve our training and ensure a culture of safety within the ranks.”

The legislation follows a 103-page report from the Government Accountability Office, the independent investigative arm of Congress, on such rollovers. Sweeping data was released July 14 revealing that training inconsistency and overconfidence led to the service deaths, as well as a lack of safety personnel who can identify hazards during exercises. 

From 2010 to 2019, the services reported 3,753 noncombat accidents resulting in 123 service member deaths, the report stated. Rollovers were the most deadly accidents, accounting for 63 percent of the fatalities.

One of those occurred on May 9, 2019, when Conor found himself leading a light-armored vehicle training patrol at Pendleton. The rocky terrain was difficult to navigate during the 10-day training exercise. Despite using all the intelligence at their disposal, the eight-wheeled vehicle began tipping into an 18-foot hole covered by tall grass. As the 12-ton machine slowly turned belly up, Conor pushed a lance corporal who was positioned in the machine gun turret back inside at the last minute, according to his family.

He saved his comrade’s life but the newly commissioned first lieutenant was crushed instantly.

Nearly three years after his son’s death, Conor’s father said he’s glad to finally see serious attention being paid to training reform and rollover investigations. He said there is bipartisan support for many of the rollover bills in the NDAA, and said he’s eager to see them pass this year. 

“There are several powerful new measures to accompany this one,” Michael McDowell wrote on Facebook. “Conor has truly been honored.” 

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North Charleston officer, Citadel grad gets hospital escort for breast cancer surgery https://today.citadel.edu/north-charleston-officer-citadel-grad-gets-hospital-escort-for-breast-cancer-surgery/ Wed, 06 Oct 2021 19:41:27 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=27616 North Charleston police officer Ashley Thompson, '09, received a slew of support before her first surgery following chemotherapy.]]>

Photo: North Charleston police officer Ashley Thompson, with her parents Barbara and Ed Thompson, is pictured in front of a department cruiser marked for breast cancer awareness with a pink ribbon and pink lights before her cancer surgery on Oct. 5, 2021. Police and firefighters escorted Thompson to Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital for her first breast cancer surgery following chemotherapy. (Courtesy: North Charleston Police Department)

Note: Ashley Thompson graduated from the South Carolina Corps of Cadets in 2009.

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jocelyn Grzeszczak

A North Charleston police officer received a slew of support in the form of a bright pink patrol car as department members escorted her to her first surgery following chemotherapy as part of her breast cancer treatment.

Between 25 and 30 police officers and staff members participated in the early morning escort, including North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess. They followed officer Ashley Thompson from her home in Mount Pleasant to Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital on Oct. 5.

North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess offers well wishes to officer Ashley Thompson before her cancer surgery on Oct. 5, 2021. (Courtesy: North Charleston Police Department)

North Charleston’s oath of office states, “I will faithfully serve the citizens of the City,” Burgess said.

“Ashley’s service to the North Charleston (residents) is faithful,” he said. “Please say a prayer for Pfc. Ashley Thompson.”

Thompson has been with the department since June 2010, spokesman Harve Jacobs said. She is a neighborhood resource officer who works on community engagement efforts and special events.

Family, friends and co-workers, including North Charleston police Lt. Ryan Terrell, who organized the escort (center in pink shirt) and Chief Reggie Burgess (far right) are pictured with officer Ashley Thompson outside Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, where she was escorted for her first surgery for breast cancer after completing chemotherapy. (Courtesy: North Charleston Police Department)

Lt. Ryan Terrell, who leads the Neighborhood Resource Unit, organized the escort. These types of escorts are done only when the officer gives the department permission, Jacobs said.

Two special vehicles were included in the procession — a pink North Charleston patrol car emblazoned with a breast cancer ribbon and the words “Join The Fight,” as well as a pink North Charleston Fire Department truck bearing the message, “We Support The Fight,” along with hundreds of handwritten messages scrawled over its exterior.

Thompson, a graduate of The Citadel, was traveling to the hospital to receive her first post-chemo operation as part of her breast cancer treatment. She was diagnosed last year, Jacobs said.

“Please pray for her recovery as well as others that are fighting this awful disease,” according to a post on the North Charleston Police Department’s Twitter feed.

Each October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign organized by charities.

North Charleston police officer Ashley Thompson is pictured with North Charleston Fire Department Deputy Chief of Professional Standards Stephanie Julazadeh in front of a pink firetruck used to help escort Thompson to cancer surgery on Oct. 5, 2021, at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital. (Courtesy: North Charleston Police Department)

In South Carolina, breast cancer among women was the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer between 2014 and 2018, according to data from the National Cancer Institute. There were nearly 129.9 breast cancer cases diagnosed per 100,000 women. This was higher than the national incidence rate of 126.8 cases.

It is the second-deadliest type of cancer for women in the state, next to lung cancer, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Early detection of breast cancer is key to survival, because the cancer has had less time to spread to lymph nodes or other locations beyond the breast, according to DHEC.

Common breast cancer symptoms include lumps, skin changes or any other breast changes. Health professionals suggest women do monthly breast self exams, visit their doctor each year for a breast exam and have a mammogram once per year if they are over the age of 40.

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A new kind of Frankenstein: bringing cadavers back to life in the classroom https://today.citadel.edu/a-new-kind-of-frankenstein-bringing-cadavers-back-to-life-in-the-classroom/ Fri, 24 Sep 2021 15:38:11 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26948 Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelCadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel"This is absolutely going to make learning anatomy more memorable and more fun."]]> Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The CitadelCadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel

Take a peek into the new Anatomy and Physiology Lab at The Citadel

Forget the dusty plastic leg, torso and skeleton models clattering around from hooks in the back of the labs. Their usefulness in the anatomy lab is coming to a close at The Citadel.

Instead, turn down the lights and illuminate the beating heart, manipulate the moving circulatory system, or bring the cadaver of a man who died of cancer back to life digitally to observe the tumors as they grow, before virtually dissecting him.

Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran, Biology, on a new Anatomage table, the newest addition to Duckett Hall’s state-of-the-art anatomy and physiology lab at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: Cameron Pollack / The Citadel
Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran on the college’s Anatomage table in The Citadel Anatomy and Physiology Lab August 31, 2021.

The Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics is now using an Anatomage table and learning system that enables cadets and students to examine real medical case studies with a technology that transforms cadavers into digital living bodies that function and respond.

“The virtual dissection table unscrambles the complex layers of the human body for cadets and students getting degrees in biology, nursing, or health and human performance,” said Clinton Moran, Ph.D., a professor of physiology at The Citadel. “There are many animal cases also, so we won’t need to order and dissect preserved animal specimens. The potential for cross-disciplinary learning through our new Anatomage technology is also expansive.”

In addition to the dissection table, two large wall monitors show the entire class what those at the table are doing. Moran’s class was one of the first to use the Anatomage in the college’s new Anatomy and Physiology Lab this fall.

“This is really something. It’s crazy-real,” said Cadet Reed Reichel, a junior from Beaufort, South Carolina, after using the table for the first time. Reichel is majoring in exercise science and plans to go to graduate school with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. “This is absolutely going to make learning anatomy more memorable and more fun.”

How does it work?

The Anatomage system offers four gross anatomy cases, more than 20 high-resolution regional anatomy cases, and more than 1000 pathological examples. These digital human models function as practice patients for medical schools, physical therapy schools and colleges/universities across the country. 

Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran on the college’s Anatomage table in The Citadel Anatomy and Physiology Lab August 31, 2021.

A few things it can do:

  • Help students visualize the microstructures of the brain, ear, and eyes.
  • Enable students to visually examine how cardiac and other vital functions are carried out in an active, living human body.
  • Involve students in hands-on kinesiology simulation activities to understand how a living body physiologically produces motions. 

“Anatomage provides an interaction with anatomy inside a living human body that we could never offer before,” said The Citadel’s Swain Family School of Science and Mathematics Dean, Darin Zimmerman, Ph.D. “The Citadel is deeply grateful to the Swain family for helping provide this unparalleled learning experience.”

Cadets work with Dr. Clinton Moran on the college’s Anatomage table in The Citadel Anatomy and Physiology Lab August 31, 2021.

The software for The Citadel’s system will be upgraded as new functionality becomes available. For example, the next software update, Table 8, includes a digital pregnancy, from beginning to birth.

Want a closer look?

See what the Anatomage technology can do in the demonstration video below.

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Harvey and Marcia Schiller donate $1M for surgical innovation https://today.citadel.edu/harvey-and-marcia-schiller-donate-1m-for-surgical-innovation/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 16:07:06 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26911 Brig. Gen. Harvey Schiller earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from The Citadel in 1960 and delivered a Greater Issues address in 2003.]]>

Note: Brig. Gen. Harvey Schiller earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from The Citadel in 1960. He has previously donated the funding needed to renovate chemistry labs on campus; he also delivered a Greater Issues address in 2003.

Press release from the Medical University of South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Sports executive and retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Harvey Schiller and his wife, Marcia, have committed to donating $1 million to establish the Harvey and Marcia Schiller Surgical Innovation Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSCHealth). The center will be dedicated to innovating surgical procedures and developing new surgical tools and technologies to improve patient care.

The center, currently located on the fourth floor of the MUSC Clinical Sciences Building, is a collaborative effort among faculty members in the departments of Surgery, Regenerative Medicine and Bioengineering. Heart surgeon Arman Kilic, M.D., an internationally known expert on artificial intelligence (AI), will direct the center.

“The Harvey and Marcia Schiller Surgical Innovation Center will transform how surgery is performed,” said Kilic. “What we learn and develop at the center will not only change how patients in South Carolina are treated, it will change what’s possible for patients nationwide. Centers across the country will look to us as a leading source of innovation in surgical health care.”

Schiller is a graduate of The Citadel and earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Michigan. He has held leadership positions with the Southeastern Conference (SEC), YankeeNets, Turner Sports, Diversified Search, sailing’s America’s Cup and SailGP, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, among others. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for service in Vietnam.

“Innovation is a core value at MUSC. As someone who has made a career out of pushing the envelope, Harvey Schiller gets it,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “The investment he and Marcia have made in MUSC will allow us to keep pushing the boundaries of science to deliver cutting-edge solutions, with the goal of achieving better, safer, and in some cases, less-costly care for patients. We are tremendously grateful for their generosity and this innovative partnership.”

The Schillers have also generously supported thyroid cancer research at MUSC through their family foundation.

###

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is home to the oldest medical school in the South as well as the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center, with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. MUSC brought in more than $271 million in biomedical research funds in fiscal year 2020, continuing to lead the state in obtaining National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $129.9 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safe patient care while training generations of compassionate, competent health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Close to 25,000 care team members provide care for patients at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and 5 additional hospital locations in development, more than 300 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $4.4 billion. The more than 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.

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Riley’s “Making of the International African American Museum” course airing on C-SPAN https://today.citadel.edu/rileys-making-of-the-international-african-american-museum-course-airing-on-c-span/ Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:00:19 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26724 Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)The course featured leading global figures Riley engaged to contribute what Riley calls "the under-told stories of African American experiences."]]> Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)Citadel cadets enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum,” tour the site of the International African American Museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Dr. Elijah Heyward, the museum’s Chief Operating Officer, led the tour of the museum, which is slated to open in 2022. (Photo by Cameron Pollack / The Citadel)

Photo above: Citadel cadets and students enrolled in the course “The Why and the How: The Making of the International African American Museum” tour the site of the museum with Professor Joseph P. Riley Jr., the former Mayor of Charleston, on February 2, 2021.

First recorded class session airing Sept. 18

The International African American Museum (IAAM) in Charleston is expected to open in 2022. The founder and champion of the IAAM, former Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., is a professor at The Citadel and a member of The Citadel Class of 1964.

Class segments from one of Riley’s courses, co-designed and taught by Kerry Taylor, Ph.D., a professor in The Citadel Department of History, are being broadcast by the C-SPAN American History TV channel, beginning on Sept. 18. “The why and the how: The making of the International African American Museum” recorded class sessions will also be available on the C-SPAN American History TV website.

Riley was mayor for 40 years and a career-long civil rights activist, serving as one of the most important figures in American municipal government. After retiring from public office, he assumed the position at The Citadel as the first person to serve in a professorship named for him: the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Endowed Chair of American Government and Public Policy Professor.

Here is a description from C-SPAN.org:

The International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina is slated to open its doors in the summer of 2022. We sat in on a course at the The Citadel looking at how and why the museum came into existence. Former Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley — who first proposed the idea for the museum more than 20 years ago — co-taught the course with history professor Kerry Taylor. Their guest speaker for this class session was Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch, who shared his experiences as the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Citadel provided this video.

C-SPAN.org

The course, taught mostly remotely in the spring of 2021, featured leading global figures Riley engaged to contribute what Riley calls “the under-told stories of African American experiences.”

The cadets and students in Riley’s class also toured the IAAM construction site, led by Riley.

“The International African American Museum site is sacred ground. The location was crucial because every day it is painfully evident that America continues to be fractured by our structural defect resulting from the days of enslaved Africans. This fissure exists because we Americans do not know this important part of our country’s history,” Riley said in response to being asked a about why he developed the course.

For Riley, an IAAM board member, the museum represents an extension of his political commitments, dating back at least to the time of his first mayoral election in 1975.

A clip of the first class shown, featuring the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch III, is below.

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The rewind: celebrating the Class of 1970 and more https://today.citadel.edu/the-rewind-celebrating-the-class-of-1970-and-more/ Mon, 13 Sep 2021 20:13:24 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26649 The postponed Homecoming recognized the milestone reunions for classes ending in '0 and '5 and, especially, members of the Class of 1970 who celebrated their 50th reunion.]]>

Recognizing the reunions that would have happened in 2020

The alumni who waited an extra year to reunite with their former classmates don’t have to wait anymore.

Though it came a year later than planned, The Citadel and The Citadel Alumni Association held Homecoming 2020 on Sept. 10-12, 2021.

The postponed Homecoming recognized the milestone reunions for classes ending in ‘0 and ‘5 and, especially, members of the Class of 1970 who celebrated their 50th reunion.

Despite the delay and some modifications required by the pandemic, many activities looked like they have in years past.

Saturday, Sept. 11 began with the barracks on campus open to visitors, as well as the traditional performance by The Citadel’s Regimental Pipe Band.

Later in the morning, cadets marched in the Homecoming dress parade in honor of the Class of 1970. That parade also included a Jeep review by The Citadel President Gen. Glenn Walters, USMC (Ret.), ’77; Regimental Commander Cadet Col. Kathryn Christmas; and 2020 President of The Citadel Alumni Association Col. Ed White Jr., USAF (Ret.), ’66.

There were also multiple events on campus to honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, including a memorial display — hosted by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) with support from the Fine Arts Program — of a fragment of steel from the World Trade Center.

Photo courtesy: Tiffany Silverman, director of the Fine Arts program at The Citadel

The SHSS received the fragment in 2013; it was displayed in the lobby of Capers Hall until it was relocated for the building’s demolition. A new, permanent location will be established when the new Capers Hall is complete.

Saturday afternoon, The Citadel football team competed with Charleston Southern University. That game also included multiple tributes to those lost on 9/11 as well as military members and first responders.

Homecoming 2021 — honoring classes ending in ‘1 and ‘6 — is scheduled for Nov. 12-14. More information can be found here.

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Big John’s Tavern, one of the oldest bars in Charleston, returns to original location https://today.citadel.edu/big-johns-tavern-one-of-the-oldest-bars-in-charleston-returns-to-original-location/ Sun, 12 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26520 The new owners Christopher Houston, Scotty Sheriff and Darren Bradley graduated from The Citadel in 2003, 2001 and 1989, respectively. ]]>

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Kalyn Oyer

An old East Bay watering hole is back up and operating under its old moniker.

Known for being the Market area’s best dive bar and a popular hangout for carriage tour company employees and Citadel cadets alike, Big John’s Tavern has returned. 

Before it closed in 2015 after a fire, Big John’s was one of the oldest bars in the city (rivaling Gene’s Haufbrau in Avondale). John Canady, known to locals as “Big John,” originally opened the space in 1955. 

Now it’s under the ownership of three Citadel graduates at its original location. 

Christopher Houston, Scotty Sheriff and Darren Bradley are at the helm of the operation and trying to keep the bar’s original spirit alive. They graduated from The Citadel in 2003, 2001 and 1989, respectively. 

“That’s the first bar I ever drank at,” Sheriff said with a touch of nostalgia. “We all went back in the day. That’s why it was a sentimental move for us.” 

After a hushed soft opening for Citadel graduates only during the Sept. 2 Coastal Carolina vs. Citadel football game, the bar was officially open for business to the public as of 4 p.m. Sept. 3. 

The ball began rolling when Houston and Sheriff stopped in to inquire about the U-Hauls outside as former tenant Cane Rhum Bar cleared out of the space in May a year ago in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

They struck a deal with the building’s owner and, more than a year later, were ready to reopen. Inside, there are TVs for sports game viewings and some of the original nametags recovered from the fire that once decorated Big John’s walls.

The back bar is made from a salvaged barn in Kingstree and the trio had replicas of the bar’s original red chairs made and are keeping the color scheme. 

“It’s not really a dive bar anymore, it’s a little more upgraded,” Houston told The Post and Courier. “But we’re still paying homage to the spirit of Big John’s.” 

Big John’s has a legacy as a low-key place for locals to hang out in the middle of a tourist destination. It’s meant a lot to a lot of people, including its three owners. 

“It’s tough to walk by the old Big John’s Tavern and remember the underwear and bras that adorned the ceiling,” a tribute in Lowcountry Cuisine Magazine read in 2017. “It was a dive bar in every sense of the word but was a sanctuary for so many to escape the downtown trendy or fancy spots not fit for those of us who sweat outside all day attending to tourists’ every needs.”

The new owners have taken over the bar’s old social media pages and will be posting soon, they said.

William Sherrod is the new executive chef, and Heath Todd is the general manager. A smoky old fashioned cocktail, dubbed the “Smoke Show,” is among the beverage options that will be available. 

“It’s been a lot of fun so far,” Sheriff said. “A lot of people have been pretty excited about us reopening. This bar does mean a lot to us and is very historic to Charleston.”

The bar’s old slogan still stands: “Come as a stranger and leave as a friend.” 

Big John Tavern’s hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., but lunch is in the works, said Houston. It’s at 251 East Bay St.

The new owners made replicas of the original Big John’s Tavern red chairs at the bar.

 

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This family had both a parent and kids deployed to same war after 9/11 https://today.citadel.edu/this-family-had-both-a-parent-and-kids-deployed-to-same-war-after-9-11/ Fri, 10 Sep 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26567 Although one son was at The Citadel, his goal wasn’t to follow in his father’s footsteps. He wanted structure and discipline.]]>

Note: Andrew Nicholson is a member of The Citadel Class of 2004.

As seen on TODAY, by Ree Hines

Larry Nicholson still remembers the moment 20 years ago when he learned the devastating news that soon reverberated across the globe — two planes had flown into the World Trade Center. America was under attack.

The now-retired lieutenant general was on a training mission in the California desert at the time, but as he explained in a segment that aired on the 3rd hour of TODAY Thursday, he instantly knew nothing would be the same.

“Feels like yesterday. It really does. It’s still fresh,” he told NBC News correspondent Hallie Jackson of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. “I think all of us fundamentally knew at that point that our world had changed forever — for everyone in uniform and many that would soon be in uniform.”

And with one son in high school on a military base and another attending The Citadel military college, he knew his own children were likely to be among the latter group.

“I just remember there was a feeling of, ‘When are they going? Where are they going? What’s going to happen?’” his youngest son, Kevin, recalled. “‘But it’s our parents that are going to do it.’ I remember being angry that I wasn’t old enough to go, to do anything about it.”

As for Kevin’s big brother, Andrew, he hadn’t been eager to join up. Although he was at The Citadel, his goal wasn’t to follow in his father’s footsteps. He wanted structure and discipline.

“But 9/11 happened and just changed the scope,” he explained. “I mean, you mature a lot when you see something like that happen for the first time in your life.”

Eventually, all of them were marines, and between the three men, they had 10 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, while Larry Nicholson led thousands of troops in Iraq and thousands of troops in Afghanistan, he had the opportunity to see both of his sons in action, even commanding Andrew’s battalion.

The odds of such a thing were “slim,” according to Andrew Nicholson, who noted, “At the time, I didn’t realize, you know, how neat it was that we could do that together.”

But “neat” wasn’t exactly how family matriarch Debbie Nicholson would have described it. She’d already known the concern that came with having a spouse stationed in a war zone, but having her children in a war zone, too, weighed on her differently.

“It’s a lot harder on a mother,” she explained. “When your child is learning to walk and they fall, you’re there to grab them. But you can’t do that when they’re at war. You have to just pray and know that they’re doing what they want to do.”

And she wasn’t alone. The generation-spanning war efforts that launched in the wake of 9/11 left many other parents and spouses in similar positions.

“I don’t think we’re special in any way,” Larry Nicholson insisted. “I think we’re reflective of so many other military families that are out there.”

Families that didn’t necessarily fare as well as theirs did.

“I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that probably any of us don’t think about former teammates that didn’t come home,” he continued. “I don’t think you can go through that without sort of a constant reflection of the incredible young men and women that you serve with and how proud you are to be associated with so many of those folks.”

To watch the on-air story, click here.

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Augusta Rucking Crew organizes workout to commemorate 20th anniversary of 9/11 https://today.citadel.edu/augusta-rucking-crew-organizes-workout-to-commemorate-20th-anniversary-of-9-11/ Sat, 04 Sep 2021 16:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26365 Mueller, a graduate of The Citadel, started rucking several years ago to create a community and exercise outdoors.]]>

Note: Kurt Mueller is a member of The Citadel Class of 2005

As seen in The North Augusta Star, by Samantha Winn

Five miles and almost 4,000 stairs is the length North Augusta resident Kurt Mueller is willing to go.

Mueller, a member of the Augusta Rucking Crew, wanted to create a workout event that memorializes the 20 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He came up with a Sept. 11 remembrance rucking workout event, which will be held for the second time this year in Riverside Village at 6 a.m.

“I thought what better way to involve the community as much as we could and just encourage people to get out there and exercise,” he said. “It is totally scalable.”

Rucking, a cardio workout with a weighted backpack, comes from military traditions. The weighted backpacks allow for an intense workout that can burn up to 700 calories in an hour.

Mueller, a graduate of The Citadel, started rucking several years ago. He created the club in October last year as a way to create a community and exercise outdoors.

Mueller remembers being a freshman cadet at The Citadel in 2001 and hearing the news and the nation’s response to the attacks.

“9/11 to me showcased how we as a nation rallied together and came together,” he said. “I say that if there is a positive takeaway from the terrible events is how we came together as a country. Especially now it seems like we are so divided. The world is divided and its craziness but it almost was for the couple of months after the attacks, I remember driving around and you could see American flags everywhere and just everyone coming together.”

The challenge starts with a 1-mile ruck to represent the distance around the Pentagon in the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C.

From there, they will ruck up 3,960 stairs or 220 stories to represent the height of both Twin Towers in New York City.

They will finish the workout with a 4-mile ruck to represent the lost fourth plane in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

“If we are truly trying to remember that date and the significance of it, then we also have to go through the uncomfortable aspects of it,” Mueller said. “If you can imagine yourself as a firefighter, for example, with 80 to 100 pounds of gear on, climbing up stairs in a burning building, that’s a very uncomfortable situation so I think there is something to be said for getting comfortable being uncomfortable. I think there is something to be said for that. I want people to get as uncomfortable as they want to.”

The free event allows participants to choose what they want to accomplish and beginners without a ruck can borrow one. The group will also be going out to breakfast after the workout.

For Mueller, this is one way he can give meaning to the historic anniversary.

“Everyone has their own way of memorializing things. For me, going through physical pain, I know it sounds weird, is how I choose to memorialize it,” Mueller said. “Others may not choose to do that but our biggest thing is to simply raise awareness. It is the 20-year anniversary, to raise awareness for our club and let people know that hey we are here, we are a free club, come hang out, do what you can do.”

To learn more about getting involved in the Augusta Rucking Crew, you can visit their Facebook group and share the message online. The group also plans on putting on a Veterans Day rucking workout.

“We are a free club open to men and women and we just want to encourage people to come out,” he said. “Work out in a group environment, be outside and also put on events like this.”

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North Jersey man led record-breaking rescue mission out of Afghanistan https://today.citadel.edu/north-jersey-man-led-record-breaking-rescue-mission-out-of-afghanistan/ Thu, 26 Aug 2021 14:08:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=26125 Lt. Col. Eric Kut, Class of 2002, was the mission commander of the C-17 Globemaster aircraft that brought 823 passengers to safety on Aug 15.]]>

Note: Lt. Col. Eric Kut is a member of The Citadel Class of 2002. His brother, Kris Kut, Class of 2000, has worked at The Citadel as an assistant cross country and track and field coach and recruiting coordinator for 20 years. (Photo above courtesy of The Andover Township Volunteer Fire Department.)

As seen in the New Jersey Herald, by Kyle Morel

A Sussex County native was part of a U.S. Air Force crew that gained national recognition earlier this month for flying a record number of passengers on a single aircraft in a rescue mission out of Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Eric Kut, an Andover Township resident and graduate of Pope John XXIII Regional High School, was the mission commander of the C-17 Globemaster aircraft that brought 823 passengers to safety from the Afghan capital of Kabul on Aug. 15. 

CNN article, citing information from Air Force spokesperson Hope Cronin, said the number of passengers is a record for a C-17 plane. The previous mark of 670 was set in 2013 during rescue efforts in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

Initial reports estimated there were about 640 civilians on the plane leaving Kabul but did not include 183 children sitting on adults’ laps. Sgt. Justin Triola, another member of the rescue crew, confirmed the updated figure during an interview last week from the group’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County. 

The plane on which Kut was stationed was not the one from a viral clip where Afghans fleeing the Taliban were seen running alongside the aircraft, with some clinging to the side of it, as it took off from the Kabul airport last week.

In a Fox News interview, Kut said his crew simply relied on its training in rescuing the people of Afghanistan and “making sure that we answer our nation’s call to deliver that freedom and that hope.”

“We were doing what we were trained to do,” he said. “We were focused on our crew position; we were making sure that everything was done, getting our checklist done, making sure that we could assess the situation and get those people safely and effectively out of there.”

Kut would not identify where the flight with the 800-plus civilians landed, saying only, “They went to a safe location, and that’s where I’ll leave it.”

The rescue became a local sensation after the Andover Township Volunteer Fire Department posted about Kut’s involvement on Facebook on Friday night. As of Monday afternoon, the post had more than 2,700 shares and hundreds of comments — some from people who were friends with Kut growing up or taught him in school — thanking the crew members for their service.

Kut grew up in Andover Township and graduated from Pope John, where he was captain of the football team, in 1998. He graduated from The Citadel in South Carolina in 2002 and has been in the Air Force for 19 years. 

Although the 823 passengers far exceed the capacity limit on the C-17, reports have indicated that Kut and his crew will not face any disciplinary action for their decision to fly so many people. 

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican congressman from Illinois who also served in Afghanistan as an Air Force pilot, said the group deserves more than just the assurance that they will not be disciplined. 

“I hope there are awards that are going to go to the crew of that C-17,” Kinzinger said in a CNN interview. “They violated basically every Air Force regulation in packing that many people in there, and in the long run that’s going to end up saving a lot of people’s lives.”

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