For the fifth consecutive year the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ freshman class will travel to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., on Saturday, Sept. 10.

This motivational trip allows the newest cadets to learn about the special relationship Virginia Tech has with the Bedford memorial as well as the history and remarkable people the memorial represents.  

Through the generosity of recently deceased Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets alumnus Raymond Reed, Class of 1957, and his wife Peggy, the freshman cadets visit the memorial to gain an understanding of this special place. The Reeds have funded the transportation and meal costs each year while the memorial grants the cadets free admission.

In addition, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets continues its strong support of the National D-Day Memorial with its annual collection at Corps Homecoming, which will be held this year in conjunction with the Arkansas State game on Sept. 17.  Cadets will be collecting at all gates prior to kickoff. The Corps of Cadets has collected over $181,300 for the memorial and is the largest, non-corporate sponsor of the D-Day memorial.

The corps started supporting the memorial in 2001 when then Cadet Anthony Madeira, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering in 2005, read that the memorial was facing bankruptcy and felt someone needed to step up and help. Madeira started the effort as a company service project and his company raised $6,000 the first year and $10,000 the next and by Madeira’s senior year it had developed into a corps-wide annual service project.

Twenty Virginia Tech alumni made the ultimate sacrifice on the beaches of Normandy and the surrounding area on June 6, 1944, and the weeks immediately afterwards. Eight alumni died on the beaches on the first day of the invasion, including alumnus 1st Lt. Jimmie Monteith, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valorous actions in securing a position on Omaha Beach. Monteith served in the Corps of Cadets as a member of the Class of 1941 in K Company. He led his troops on D-Day on Omaha Beach and repeatedly organized numerous assaults against the enemy despite heavy fire. Monteith was killed in action and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Virginia Tech's Monteith Hall is named after him and houses the 3rd Battalion of the corps. A commemorative plaque now hangs at the D-Day Memorial recognizing these 20 alumni of Virginia Tech.

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