Casper College welcomes Vietnam Veteran and unique artist to the campus
Casper College will celebrate Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11 with a presentation by Vietnam veteran Bill Wedekind and the awarding of scholarships established to recognize Wyoming’s fallen service members from 3-5 p.m.
“The Casper College Veterans Club has focused on veterans that use various art fields to help them transition from the military. Mr. Wedekind’s name was shared with the club as a possible guest speaker by Casper College faculty. When we reviewed his biography, and with this year being the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, it seemed he was the clear choice,” said Lisa Goss, veteran and Hathaway Scholarship coordinator.
Wedekind, known as “the only blind, bilateral double-hand amputee potter in the world” lost both eyes, one ear and two hands on May 25, 1968, two weeks before his 19th birthday. “Doctors didn’t expect (me) to survive the airplane ride home, but I did,” he said. After long months of rehabilitation and thanks to a suggestion from his grandmother, a potter herself, to try pottery, Wedekind began the process. That process is part of Wedekind’s presentation titled “If You Think You Can.”
“I was very fortunate to realize that what happened could not be changed, so I had to learn to live with it. What I decided to do was to make the best out of what I had left,” said Wedekind. A successful potter, Wedekind travels the country giving pottery demonstrations and helping others with his inspirational message.
Scholarships to be awarded during the celebration include the Corporal Jason Corbett Memorial Scholarship, the Casper Chase Fallen Hero Scholarship, The Scott Alan Miller Memorial Scholarship, the American Legion Post 2 Stan Lowe Scholarship, and the Wyoming Fallen Heroes Scholarship.
The celebration will be held in the T-Bird Nest, located on the third floor of the Casper College Student Union on the Casper College campus. The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.