Twenty-one alumni and friends of EA who have served in the military were welcomed to campus on Wednesday, November 8 for Veterans Day Chapel.
The annual program is now formally named the Edward H. Vick, Jr. '62 Veterans Day Chapel in honor of Mr. Vick's many years of service to EA, in celebration of his esteemed tenure on the Board of Trustees, and in recognition of his passionate advocacy for Veterans Affairs. He is a decorated war veteran, and he retired as Chair of the EA Board of Trustees in June.
Greville Haslam Head of School T.J. Locke opened the service by recognizing the veterans in attendance as students, faculty, and staff stood in applause.
Mr. Vick introduced this year's speaker. He told those gathered, "I didn't realize when I left here what an impression Episcopal had made on me. It wasn't until many years later that I realized that if not for The Episcopal Academy, and everything this school taught me and gave me, I would not have turned out to be half of the person that I turned out to be."
Sam Daly '06, this year's esteemed speaker, echoed those thoughts saying, "I can say without a doubt that my time at Episcopal was integral and formative to all the subsequent journeys and opportunities I have had since leaving the school."
After graduating from EA in 2006, Mr. Daly attended Colgate University. The political science major then entered the Marine Corps Officer program. "Up to that point in my life, it was the hardest experience I had ever been through." In March of 2011, he was commissioned a United States Marine Corps Second Lieutenant.
"The idea of service was always in the back of my mind growing up," shared Mr. Daly. "I do truly believe that any kind of service, or act of giving back, is important and honorable."
He served for more than four years as an Artillery Officer, rose to the rank of Captain, and saw two combat deployments in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Mr. Daly was awarded two Naval Achievement Medals and a Combat Action Ribbon.
Referring to this year's Chapel theme, make every effort to live in peace with all people, Mr. Daly told students "to live in peace with others, we must try to understand, or at least have empathy toward those around us. For me, this started to hit home when I got to know my Marines better."
Mr. Daly recalled working with a tenured staff sergeant, who he outranked, shortly after being commissioned. "This is one of the most valuable lessons I learned from my service, and it has afforded me a greater level of understanding of how seemingly disconnected parts of our society are from one another. Despite our socio-economic differences, we quickly learned to work with each other."
Reflecting on his time in Afghanistan, Mr. Daly said, "We did our best to lead by example, treating both civilians and our enemies alike with the dignity that their common humanity entitles them to."
Mr. Daly joined EA in the 3rd grade. During his time at EA, he was a member of the Vestry, sang in the Vocal Ensemble, was involved with theater, and played football and lacrosse."If you think about that, that is one person mind, body, and spirit epitomized. This is the kind of person all of you sitting here should aspire to be," said Mr. Vick.
"It is an honor to come back to a community that I still truly cherish," said Mr. Daly.
Mr. Daly left the Marine Corps in 2015 and is currently working at Morgan Stanley in New York.