Army Staff Sgt. Eric Saadat shares his story of being a soldier and a student at UIW at the 9th Annual Veterans Day celebration.

The University of the Incarnate Word honored all who have served our country at UIW’s 9th Annual Veterans Day ceremony Thursday, Nov. 10 on Dubuis Lawn. This year’s speakers included UIW students, both retired and active duty.

Ret. Air Force Lt. Col. Laurel Smyth presided as a guest speaker. Smyth has served all over the globe as a senior maintenance officer, with tours in Iraq, Germany and Korea. She has also served at the Pentagon. Smyth is scheduled to graduate from UIW in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts and a concentration in video production. Active duty Army Staff Sgt. Eric Saadat also addressed the crowd. Saadat is stationed at Ft. Sam Houston and recently returned to San Antonio from a combat assignment. Saadat is a graduate student working towards a Master of Arts in administration with a concentration in sports management.

Guests at the event had the opportunity to view the “Living Wall,” a display honoring students and loved ones who have served in the military. For the first time, a formal presentation of the Flag Folding Ceremony was included in the day’s events to share the heritage and history of what the ceremony represents.

UIW is home to approximately 1,100 veteran students that are either active duty, veteran or dependents using 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 UIW Mission of service.