The UW-Green Bay community celebrated and remembered campus and community military veterans Nov. 11, honoring them with the annual Chancellor’s Veteran Reception in the Phoenix Room of the University Union.
The UW-Green Bay Veterans Day tradition honors past and present service members from all branches of the U.S. military, and specifically recognizes UW-Green Bay students who have returned to school to obtain their degrees.
Retired UWGB Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Kelly Franz earned special recognition for his deep commitment to military and their families on the UWGB campus.
“We in this country, we enjoy our prosperity and our liberties and I am deeply grateful for the sacrifices and great honor you show to our great nation,” Chancellor Gary L. Miller said, offering welcome remarks on behalf of himself and his wife, Georgia Miller.
The longtime president of UWGB’s Council of Trustees, the school’s first soccer coach and veteran of the United States Marines, Lou LeCalsey, provided perspective on the day’s events.
“As UWGB celebrates 50 years and we are commemorating many different facets of University history this fall, one of the very strongest traditions here involves the commitment to recruit, assist and graduate students who are veterans,” he said.
“…I will forever be proud of my association with UWGB, for many reasons, but that particular commitment ranks near the top.”
LeCalsey also announced that UWGB has been named a “Military Friendly School” for the seventh consecutive year, for going above and beyond to provide services to the military and their families. And then his sentiments turned more somber…
“Yet, on this 96th anniversary of the first Veterans Day… it is impossible not to remember those who died in service. Nor can we forget the ‘delayed’ victims of conflict — those never able to find peace, those who failed to make it ‘all the way home’… Friends, family, current or former military, we are all integral to the great fabric of the United States of America.
“Memorial Day… Veterans Day… Every Day… We treasure our freedom, this nation’s remarkable history, and the men and women who make it possible.”
UW-Green Bay alumnus Staff Sgt. Jared Spude offered an impassioned keynote for the event, echoing the call that veterans should be recognized not only on Veterans Day, but every single day of their lives.
“What I am is a Staff Sgt in the U.S. Army and I am here to motivate you, challenge you, and remind you what this day is all about and take time every single day to think about those who serve.”
Spude ended his remarks with this message: “I encourage you to make time to reflect on what it means to be free and what it has taken to get to where we are today. We walk among heroes every single day who have sacrificed everything for something so much bigger than themselves.”