The Catholic University of America

Nov. 10, 2011

CUA Remembers Its Own on Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, Catholic University President John Garvey, students, and other volunteers will read the names of 6,200-plus servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past 10 years. The reading will take place in front of McMahon Hall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11.

Garvey will read names from 2 to 2:45 p.m. as part of the Remembrance Day National Roll Call. CUA joins more than 180 colleges and universities in all 50 states.

“CUA is proud to participate in this grassroots national effort,” said retired Navy Cmdr. Ed Schaefer, CUA veterans affairs coordinator and executive project coordinator in the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer. “Speaking the names of those who have died in service to our country is a valuable way of honoring their lives and of raising awareness among college students.”

The reading of names in chronological order at each campus throughout the country is expected take eight hours. As the event winds down, close to 4 p.m., the name of CUA alumnus Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera, who earned a doctorate in social work in 2006, will be read.

Cabrera was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Oct. 29, when an armored bus he was traveling in was attacked by a suicide bomber. Cabrera, who is the first Army social worker to die in combat, was one of five U.S. soldiers killed in the attack, along with eight U.S. civilian contractors.

The news was particularly devastating to the faculty, staff, and students at Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS). Cabrera was one of a long line of military social workers who have graduated with doctoral degrees from NCSSS through a partnership with the Social Work Fellowship in Child and Family Practice at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.

Cabrera, 41, of Olney, Md., was an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda. He was deployed at the end of September 2011, an assignment for which he volunteered, to provide counseling to units in the Kabul area.

Since the news of his death, Cabrera has been fondly and sadly remembered around campus. Barbara Early, associate professor and assistant dean and chair of doctoral studies at NCSSS, recalled that “he was so full of life. Dave Cabrera was a talented social worker and dedicated Army officer, but we will also remember him for his capacity to remain playful throughout the rigors of class work and dissertation. None of us will forget his wry smile.”

Volunteers and observers at all participating schools will pause at 2 p.m. (EST) for a simultaneous moment of silence to honor all those who lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, now called Operation New Dawn.

The National Roll Call is sponsored by the Veterans Knowledge Community of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. “We wanted to rally campus communities across the nation to send a powerful message to the troops currently serving that their peers have not forgotten their sacrifices, or those of the fallen,” said retired Lt. Col. Brett Morris, the National Roll Call coordinator.



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