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 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.
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.
The Native American Student Association will pay tribute to veterans at its sixth annual Native American Heritage Night tomorrow. The event will include dinner, a musical performance by the Eastern Band Cherokee Northern Drum Group, and a talk by Richard Allen, a military veteran from the Eastern Band of Cherokee. The event is open to the public, but RSVPs are requested.
Ashley Blamey, director of the Safety, Environment, and Education Center, and the Task Force in Support of Student Veterans had a big idea that will help student veterans find each other at UT: a small “T” pin emblazoned with the stars and stripes. The first group of the pins will be given out today at an orientation session for veterans who are preparing to start classes at UT in the spring as transfer students.
“Taps,” the somber bugle call associated with military service, will be heard ringing across UT on the chimes of Ayres Hall on Monday, November 12, in celebration of Veterans Day. This year marks the 150th anniversary of “Taps,” and with it a new tradition will be born. UT’s Task Force in Support of Student Veterans asked campus administration to allow Ayres Hall’s chimes to play “Taps” while a moment of silence is observed at noon on Veterans Day.
A veterans reunion, the annual campus parade, and a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act are among the events highlighting this year’s Homecoming celebrations. Homecoming events begin Sunday and culminate on Saturday, November 3, when the football Vols take on Troy in Neyland Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.
All UT veterans and their families are invited to campus for the third Veterans Reunion, a homecoming event held every five years. “Your Service—Our Freedom” is the theme of the reunion, sponsored by UT’s Office of Alumni Affairs. Events begin Friday, November 2, and continue through the football game against Troy University, Saturday, November 3.
The College of Nursing is answering a call from First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, to serve the nation’s veterans as well as they have served their country. The college will join more than 150 state and national nursing organizations and more than 500 nursing schools in a coordinated effort to further educate our nation’s three million nurses so they are prepared to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families.
For Patrick Charles Rogers, 42, a student in UT’s executive aerospace and defense MBA program, serving in the military is a family tradition. His ancestors served in the Revolutionary War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. Rogers has served in Operation Desert Shield, Stabilization Force Bosnia, and Operation Iraq Freedom.