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.
Task Force in Support of Student Veterans News
The university will be named a Purple Heart–designated university Saturday at the UT vs. Arkansas State game.
The 2014 Medal of Honor Convention, to be held in Knoxville September 10 through 13, is giving UT students special opportunities to interact with some our nation’s most honored veterans.
The university’s Task Force in Support of Student Veterans plans to distribute 1,000 “Buddy Poppies” to faculty, staff, and students to wear the week before Memorial Day, May 19 through 24. Last year, the Task Force passed out 1,000 poppies, and had more than 500 additional requests. The Buddy Poppy movement was started by the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization after World War I. It was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae, which described the red poppies growing on a battle site where many soldiers were buried.
UT is ranked fifteenth in the nation among all public and private universities in U.S. News and World Report’s inaugural rankings for Best Colleges for Veterans. The new ranking category provides data and information on schools that assist veterans and active service members with pursuing a college education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill by providing federal benefits, which include tuition and housing assistance. U.S. News uses its annual Best Colleges data to rank the schools that meet three specific criteria.
The Task Force in Support of Student Veterans at UT has another big idea for supporting student veterans. They plan to pass out 1,000 “Buddy Poppies” to faculty, staff, and students to wear the week before Memorial Day, May 20 through 25. Last year, the Task Force passed out 500 poppies and saw enough interest to double the distribution this year.