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LIU Post Student Veterans Club to Hold Medal of Honor Challenge April 13

Obstacle course competition simulates the battlefield experiences of four Medal of Honor recipients from New York; day-long event includes food, music, fitness events and play places; Challenge will take place one day after inaugural Veteran Summit for service men and women planning to attend college


Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Post, Long Island University

LIU_Post_Medal_HonorBrookville, N.Y. – Veterans enrolled at LIU Post and other campuses of Long Island University will take part in a Medal of Honor Challenge on Saturday, April 13, a family-friendly event highlighted by an obstacle course competition designed to reflect the experiences of New Yorkers who earned the nation’s highest military honor.

Each of the four obstacles in the course represents the actual battlefield challenges by Medal of Honor recipients whose bravery will be recognized at the event: Robert E. O’Malley of New York, Thomas P. Noonan of Brooklyn, Vincent R. Capodanno of Staten Island and Stephen Edward Karopczyc of Bethpage.

In addition to the Medal of Honor Challenge, the day-long event will feature free food, music, fitness challenges and inflatable play places for children. The New York Army National Guard and the Marine Corps will have Kevlar helmets, flak jackets and Humvees on hands-on display, and local fire companies have been invited to bring apparatus and turn-out gear.

The event is organized by Veteran Students United, LIU Post’s veteran student group, and will take place in the parking lot of the Pratt Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Other student organizations sponsoring the event include the Student Government Association, the Association for Campus Programming, and the Inter-Fraternity and Sorority Council. The event is timed to coincide with Greek Week and many fraternity and sorority members are expected to take part.

The Medal of Honor Challenge will come one day after the inaugural LIU Post Veterans Summit, for veteran college students and students eligible for VA educational entitlements. The one-day intensive conference on Friday, April 12  will provide veterans and their families the opportunity to attend a variety of informative sessions that are designed to assist them in learning more about available veteran benefits as well as contributing to their continued professional and personal development.

The lead organizer of the Medal of Honor Challenge is VSU member and political science major Dan Potenzieri, a veteran of the Marine Corps.

“After I joined the VSU club I realized I wanted to develop and host a fun, exciting and educational physically challenging event that would highlight our military services and the legacy of our nation’s heroes,” Potenzieri said. “Our hope is to educate the student body about brotherhood, loyalty, and the accomplishments of these Medal of Honor winners by putting them to a military test, to face what armed service members in war face on a daily basis.”

The Medal of Honor Challenge is a head-to-head, timed obstacle course competition. Two-member teams of participants will be attached to each other via a rope to emphasize the importance of teamwork.  Each team will navigate obstacles representing the actions of a New York Medal of Honor recipient.

  • Obstacle 1, in which teammates navigate a five-foot two-by-four through a tight, enclosed space, represents the experiences of O’Malley, a Marine Corps sergeant who killed eight Viet Cong fighters and made possible the evacuation of several wounded marines in Vietnam in 1965.
  • Obstacle 2, navigating two points and attaching sandbags to the two-by-four, reflects the actions of Karopczyc, who died while shielding his comrades from the explosion of an enemy grenade in Vietnam in 1967.
  • Obstacle 3, dragging a heavy weight up a ramp, recalls the actions of Noonan, a Marine Corps lance corporal who died dragging wounded comrade to safety under heavy enemy fire in Vietnam in 1969.
  • Obstacle 4, a sprint while carrying a shot put and the two-by-four, recognizes Capodanno, a Navy chaplain who dashed into machine gun fire to try to rescue a fallen soldier in Vietnam in 1967.

To assist VSU in insuring that the day offers the best fitness competition, VSU will be partnering with outside companies to assist in event logistics and creation, including National Tactical Fitness – – and Derek Zahler, a U.S. Army Special Operations Veteran who will emcee the obstacle course portion of the event.

In addition to the obstacle course, there will be satellite fitness events. These events will be hosted by the fire department, police department, and military units. The satellite events are designed to allow students and the outside community to participate in public service and military fitness events for individual prizes.

“This provides an opportunity for all spectators to participate in the fitness related component if they choose to,” noted Potenzieri.

There will be a 50 team limit with 20-30 team slots reserved for Greek competitors with the remaining slots open to all LIU students. The obstacle course is only open to registered LIU students.

There is a recommended donation of $5 for entry to support Wounded Warrior Project and DZ Foundation. VSU has also been identified for fundraising and will take 30 percent to 50 percent of total profits depending on amounts raised. There will also be a raffle for products that were donated.

For more information, visit , call (516) 299-2256 or write

Posted 04/04/2013

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