Photo Credit: Veteran Joe Slapinsky, pictured far right

Join veterans for a live, virtual conversation about their experiences in service on Thursday, November 11

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – ArtsQuest is proud to welcome our community to the SteelStacks’ livestreaming event for this year’s Veterans Day presented by Embassy Bank and Phoebe Ministries. On Thursday, November 11, beginning at 10 a.m., retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel and head of Lehigh University’s Veterans Association, Frank Gunter, will host “Coffee & Conversation: Reflections of Two Generations,” live from the Terrace at Phoebe Allentown. “ArtsQuest is once again honored to partner with Embassy Bank and Phoebe Ministries for this year’s virtual program that will give our community an opportunity to personally engage with our Lehigh Valley veterans,” said ArtsQuest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert. “We are grateful to all of our service men and women who have made so many sacrifices to keep our country safe. We thank Embassy Bank who continues to make it possible for us to recognize those who’ve given it all for our nation.” The Colonel will invite viewers to an intergenerational conversation and reflective discussion with veterans, Lowell Hawk, a Specialist 1st Class with the U.S. Army, Joe Slapinsky, a Corporal E-4 in the U.S. Marine Corps and James Ball, a Staff Sergeant E-6 with the U.S. Marine Corps, who will share their personal experiences of the post-Korean War era and Middle East conflicts. This commemorative event will stream live on the SteelStacks Facebook page and website, Phoebe Ministries’ Facebook page and website, and Embassy Bank’s Facebook page. “Embassy Bank is proud to present this important conversation,” said David M. Lobach, Jr. Chairman, President and CEO Embassy Bank for the Lehigh Valley. “Thanking veterans for their service is just the beginning. This event provides an opportunity for those who have served our nation to share their personal experiences with each other and the entire community.” Featured Veterans: Lowell Hawk, U.S. Army Specialist 1st class, 85, was born in Northampton, Pa. He served for two years in the U.S Army shortly after the Korean War. He was trained as part of the tank Corps at Fort Knox in Kentucky and attended Quarter Master School at Fort Lee in Virginia. He was deployed in 1954 to the Army Service Command XXIV Corps between Seoul and Port of Incheon in South Korea where he served in the main ordnance dept. until 1956. After his service, he received a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University. He worked as a biology and science teacher at East Penn School District for 24 years until 1984. Following retirement, he worked for New York Life as an insurance and investments specialist. Both he and his wife of 65 years, Shirley, live at the Terrace at Phoebe Allentown. They have one son, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Joseph “Joe” Slapinsky, U.S. Marine Corps Corporal E-4, 82, was born in Hazelton, Pa. He served for six years in the U.S. Marine Corps after the Korean War. He was stationed at Fort Lejeune in North Carolina before being deployed to Asia in 1958 where he served in Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. In 1959, he was stationed at the foot of Mount Fuji. He served for three years in active duty and three years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve until 1964. After his service, he worked on the assembly line for General Motors in Linden, N.J., and attended RETS Institute where he received his certification for electrical engineering. Afterwards, he worked for Bethlehem Steel for 34 years as an electrician and an electrical foreman. After Bethlehem Steel closed, Joe worked for PECO as an electrician until his retirement. He and his wife of 61 years, Yvonne, live at the Terrace at Phoebe Allentown. They have three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. James Ball, U.S. Marine Corps, Staff Sergeant E-6, 61, was born in Columbus, Ohio. He served for 20 years in the U. S. Marine Corps with seven years in active duty and 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. In 1977 Ball was stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego (MCRD), where he attended Drill Instructor School. For several years he traveled throughout the U.S., training new Marine Corps recruits. Afterwards he volunteered to serve overseas in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War as part of the multinational peacekeeping force until 1997. He has worked on the Phoebe Berks campus since 2018, first as the Interim Director, then as the permanent Director of Environmental Services. He is employed by Aramark, one of Phoebe’s trusted staffing partners, and has worked in senior healthcare for over 10 years. He and his wife Tracy live in East Coventry Township and have seven children and nine grandchildren.