SRU professor to receive Purple Heart Nov. 11


SRU veterans day announcement

Nov. 5, 2015

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Army Capt. Joseph Barrow, a Slippery Rock University assistant professor of military science, will be awarded the Purple Heart at SRU's Veterans Day Ceremony Nov 11, for a combat wound he received in Afghanistan in 2013.

captain joseph barrow


Barrow will receive his medal during the 11 a.m. ceremony at the Veterans Memorial adjacent to the Russell Wright Alumni House. Army Lt. Col. John Donlin, SRU professor of military science and ROTC battalion commander, will award the medal and offer remarks. ​Retired Army brigade commander Mike Brobeck, a 1986 SRU graduate, will deliver the keynote speech.

"The Purple Heart is a very personal award, and I am glad I am able to share the experience with the SRU community, veterans and ROTC cadets," Barrow said.

As part of SRU's Veterans Day Ceremony, alumni, faculty and students will honor veterans with a 21-gun salute, the laying of a wreath and the playing of taps by The Marching Pride. The ceremony will include remarks from Cheryl Norton, SRU president, and songs by the SRU Chamber Singers.

Barrow, who joined SRU in March, was wounded at 6:10 a.m., Oct. 10, 2013, in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan, when his unit came under attack by enemy recoilless rifle, rocket, machine gun and small arms fire.

While moving to check on other soldiers, an enemy 82-mm recoilless rifle round struck and detonated on a vehicle less than 25 meters from his position. Barrow was struck and wounded by the blast.

Barrow underwent two weeks of treatment for a traumatic brain injury and facial edema at a combat hospital. He made a full recovery and returned to his unit, the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.

"I am glad none of my fellow soldiers were injured, and I was able to recover and get back to my unit," he said.

Barrow will speak during the 8:30 a.m. veterans breakfast in the Smith Student Center Ballroom sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

He teaches Leadership and Decision Making and Leadership Dimensions and Concepts in the Military Science department.

In offering Veterans Day remarks, Donlin said he will emphasize the contributions of Veterans and Veterans' organizations to the community and how they continue to serve after active military duty.

"It's important for the ROTC program to support this event because in many ways we are the Army's ambassadors in communities around the country where there is little day to day military interaction," Donlin said. "We as an Army represent our society, and this is a great way to contribute to awareness of our Soldiers and their service. The ceremony also acts as a way to inspire my cadets to service to their country and community, and lastly I see it as a very appropriate way to administer the oath to our newly contracted and scholarship cadets as they are committing to service and their future as both alumni and veterans."

Donlin said the ceremony would remind people to keep veterans foremost in their minds as they serve their country and when they come home.

SRU, which has 70 students in ROTC, has been named a "Military Friendly School" by Victory Media. SRU has offered military appreciate nights at athletic events and operates a Veterans Center that helps former soldiers transition back to civilian life.

The SRU alumni association and alumni engagement are sponsoring the ceremony.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |