Service honors ECU military and veterans
(Mar. 28, 2006)
Two years ago, Lt. Roger Vogel was attending Pirate football games, studying political science and singing karaoke at Ham’s restaurant.
Now, a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, the 2004 East Carolina University graduate returned this year from a tour of duty in Afghanistan where he was responsible for planning indirect fires such as mortars and howitzers.
“I love being a part of something that is larger than just myself,” said Vogel, who served as a Field Artillery Fire Support Officer for the 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Vogel spoke Tuesday at a ceremony in honor of ECU’s current students and alumni that are military veterans or currently serving in the military. The service, held next to the Victory Bell on ECU’s campus, is a part of the university’s Founders Week celebrations.
“Today we honor the history and tradition of East Carolina University,” said Chancellor Steve Ballard. “We are very proud of the traditions we have at ECU with military programs and services.”
Vogel said ECU was a catalyst for his leadership in the Army.
“My education here has helped me get a good measure and perspective,” he said.
Vogel said soldiers often do not see the long term affect of their deployment. But citing newly built schools, and girls that are now allowed to attend classes, Vogel said he believes American troops have already made a difference in the resolve of Afghans.
“Sometimes on the front line it can be hard to see the big picture,” he said. “But the amount of progress we’ve had is staggering. The Afghan people have taken ownership.”
Vogel encouraged the audience of about two dozen to contribute to the learning process by volunteering and reaching out to others in the community.
Tuesday’s ceremony took place in front of the university's Victory Bell, a 382-pound brass bell with a military history dating back to 1855. Cast in Philadelphia in 1855, the bell was a gift from the United States Department of the Navy. Dedicated on campus in 1953, it was traditionally rung to celebrate an athletic victory. Officials are discussing moving the bell to a more prominent location for the university’s centennial in 2007 to honor the military.
East Carolina University continues Founders Week celebrations through Saturday. For a list of upcoming events visit: