Five years ago, as a US Navy petty officer on the USS Bainbridge, Melina Gardner—now a UT senior in sociology—found herself in the middle of a four-day standoff between the Navy and Somali pirates during the now-famous rescue of the ship’s captain Richard Phillips. As Veterans Day approaches, Gardner reflects on her experiences and how she now helps other veterans in the university’s Office of Veterans Affairs.
Office of Veterans Affairs News
Tennessee veterans who have died in the line of duty since the 9/11 terrorist attacks will be honored when UT participates in its fourth annual National Day of Remembrance and Roll Call on Tuesday, November 11.
The university will be named a Purple Heart–designated university Saturday at the UT vs. Arkansas State game.
During this week’s commencement ceremonies, many students will be wearing special graduation cords and medallions in honor of their leadership and service on campus, in the community, and throughout the world. Also during commencement, nineteen students will be commissioned as second lieutenants into the United States armed forces.
UT will celebrate Veterans Day on Monday, November 11, with its third annual National Day of Remembrance and Roll Call. The university will also create a “flag garden” on the south lawn of Ayres Hall as a visual acknowledgment of veterans, who are serving or have served, and UT Libraries will set up an exhibit of World War I and Civil War memorabilia. Members of the campus community are invited to place a flag in the flag garden in honor of a veteran. Flags can be reserved free of charge online.
Grad student. Loving father. Veteran. Twenty-five-year-old Douglas Oeser holds all these titles. Oeser is one of UT’s student veterans. He served the US Army in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2010. Oeser recalled that the transition from soldier to student wasn’t easy.
During commencement ceremonies this week, some students will be wearing special graduation cords in honor of their service in the US Armed Forces. There are more than fifty veterans, reservists, and National Guard members graduating from UT Knoxville this spring and summer in various colleges as undergraduates, graduates, and law students.