Kentucky Campuses Honor Veteran Students, Faculty, and Staff during Veterans Day Ceremonies
Dec 01, 2014
As a college led by veterans and dedicated to serving veterans, recognizing and providing support to those who served our country is always a priority at American National University, but never more so than when each Kentucky Campus holds Veterans Day ceremonies.
The Florence Campus observed Veterans Day with presentations by former Army Ranger David Charpentier from the Yellow Ribbon Support Foundation; veteran, student services representative, and director of veterans affairs Jason Stewart; and instructor Julian Adkins.
Mr. Charpentier spoke about ways that we can honor the service and sacrifices made by our veterans. He encouraged students, faculty, and staff to volunteer their time and efforts to send a powerful message to those who are serving and have served their country. Examples of opportunities to volunteer include working at a veterans hospital or placing American flags at the gravesites of veterans in local cemeteries. Many other volunteer opportunities can be found online for those who want to find a way to express their appreciation for those who have given so much.
During his presentation, Jason stated, “Our freedom is paid for by the blood, sweat, and tears of our veterans. The fact that such a small percentage (less than 1%) of Americans are in the military shows how grateful we should be for those who defend our liberty. I know firsthand the sacrifice that is made to be free in our country.”
At the Pikeville Campus, members of the Pike Central High School’s JROTC presented the Fallen Soldier Memorial, a moving tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedom.
“Many students, faculty, and staff at American National University have served in the armed forces and made great sacrifices for everyone,” said campus director Tammy Riley. “I can’t think of a better example of a committed student or employee than our veterans on campus. American National University gratefully and respectfully joins with the country on this day to celebrate and recognize such dedication and sacrifice.”
Veteran students, staff, and faculty were recognized for their service during day and evening ceremonies at the Lexington Campus. In addition to enjoying slices of Campus Director Kimberly Thomasson’s famous homemade flag cake, the campus created holiday greeting cards for those who are serving overseas.
"American National University does a tremendous job honoring veterans every chance they can,” stated Joshua Emerson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and a student in the surgical technology program. “They sincerely appreciate and value our service - and that is very special to us."
Giving back to our veterans by assisting with the Veterans Day Luncheon at the National Guard Armory has become a tradition for the Danville, Kentucky Campus.
Instructor David Layton, who retired from the U. S. Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel, is one of the veterans who has enjoyed the event for many years. “I spent nearly thirty years in service of my country as an officer in the Army Reserves. Every year, unless I have a class conflict, I attend the local Veterans Day meal at the Danville National Guard Armory,” said David. “There is an atmosphere there that is always the same – of people who went when duty called and served their country.”
At the Richmond Campus, a color guard from Marine Corps League Bluegrass Det. 1012 reverently displayed the American Flag, while students from the Model Laboratory School chorus sang the National Anthem and student Abby Adkins played “Taps.”
Veteran Denise Jones, who earned her business administration-management degree at the Richmond Campus and now works as a workforce development specialist for the Kentucky Career Center, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. Denise talked about the importance of family to our service men and women—both the family-like ties that are formed with their fellow soldiers and the family members who stay behind to hold down the fort while they are deployed.
She asked everyone who has someone in their family who is currently serving or has served to stand and be recognized. She also requested that when we encounter a service member out in public, whether they are in uniform or wearing a cap identifying them as a veteran, we should thank them for their service.
The Louisville Campus honored their veterans with ceremonies for day and evening students. During the ceremonies, campus director Vincent Tinebra explained that November is a month traditionally associated with giving thanks, and the Veterans Day program this year provided a unique opportunity to say “thanks” to our veterans.
During the previous week, students, faculty, and staff had an opportunity to fill out a form and finish the sentence: “I am thankful for our military because…” The forms were then read during the program. Some students were grateful to our veterans because of family members who served. Others mentioned their appreciation for the freedoms that we enjoy each day in our country thanks to our veterans.
Business administration-management student Derra Faulkner wrote: “You all showed great bravery when others were too afraid to step up and serve. We appreciate your sacrifice and willing spirit to fight for us.”
A- (Clockwise from top left) Marine Corps League Bluegrass Det. 1012 provided the color guard to open the Veterans Day ceremony at the Richmond Campus.
Louisville Campus director Vincent Tinebra (left) is shown presenting a gift to veteran Zak Muhammad during the campus’s Veterans Day ceremony.
David Charpentier, a former Army Ranger who now serves on the board of the Yellow Ribbon Foundation, encouraged students at the Florence Campus to show their support of veterans by volunteering at a veterans hospital or with other veterans organizations.
Kentucky National Guard veteran Denise Jones, a American National University graduate and workforce development specialist at the Kentucky Career Center, served as the guest speaker for the Richmond Campus’s Veterans Day ceremony.
B- (Clockwise from top left) Veterans are shown being recognized during the Veterans Day ceremony at the Lexington Campus.
Ernie Blanchet, a 101-year-old veteran, was among the many served during the annual Veterans Day luncheon held at the National Guard Armory in Danville, Kentucky. The Danville, Kentucky Campus has provided volunteers for the event for many years.
Danville, Kentucky Campus instructor and veteran David Layton is pictured with admissions representative Amy Whitt who volunteered at the annual Veterans Day luncheon held at the National Guard Armory in Danville, Kentucky.
Campus director Tammy Riley is shown with Pike Central High School’s JROTC, who presented the Fallen Soldier Memorial during the Pikeville Campus’s Veterans Day ceremony.