At a ceremony held on Nov. 8, UIW honored those who have served our country at the university’s 10th Annual Veterans Day ceremony.
UIW is home to approximately 1300 veteran students that are active duty, veterans or dependents using federal tuition assistance (TA) or VA benefits. The annual Veterans Day ceremony is an opportunity for UIW student veterans and their families to share insights on how their experience of military service blends with the university’s Mission of service.
UIW students Sgt. James Jones and Maj. Andrew Montoya served as speakers for the event. After four years of exemplary enlisted service, Jones was honored with acceptance to the Army’s Green to Gold program, which provides an ROTC scholarship leading to his commissioning after graduation. Jones is currently working toward his Bachelor of Business Administration in general business. Montoya is active duty and is a doctoral student working toward a Ph.D. in organizational leadership.
Special guests for the event were Col. Vincent T. Simmons, assistant chief of staff, Support G4 U.S. Army South; G4 Sgt. Maj. Malik Shabazz, U.S. Army South; Lt. Col. Lewis Carpenter, deputy chief of plans, Support G4, U.S. Army South; and Maj. David Steele, current operations, U.S. Army South.
In celebration of the event’s 10th anniversary, a commemorative coin was designed and unveiled. The coin was given as a gift to all in attendance. The two-sided coin has an American Flag design on one side showing 22 stars honoring the 22 million living American veterans with five red stripes below, one for each branch of the armed services. The opposite side features the UIW logo.
A formal presentation of the Flag Folding Ceremony was included in the day’s events to share the heritage and history of what this important ceremony represents. For the first time, UIW students also hosted a “Toys for Tots” collection during the event. “Toys for Tots” is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve sponsored program.
Following the ceremony, an honor wreath was placed on the lawn of the Brackenridge Villa on the UIW campus.