On a day when the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay honors all veterans and the nearly 250 servicemen and women currently enrolled at the University, the veterans turned the tables, and honored the University, as well.
During a Veteran Appreciation Reception in the Phoenix Room of the University Union, November 11, Nathan Riehl, a recent graduate who is back on campus for his teaching certification, personally recognized the UW-Green Bay staff. Sergeant Riehl was activated three times during his undergraduate experience, and said that every time he returned, faculty and staff went out of their way to accommodate his transition.
Riehl presented the campus with a United States flag that was flown over Camp Taji, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, September 11, 2009, “honoring those who have served, who have fallen, and those who have supported them, in past wars and present, in their relentless pursuit of liberty and defense of freedom.”
In addition, Larry Heyrman spoke on behalf of the National Guard and Reserve, and thanked UW-Green Bay for its support as an employer of current men and women in the Guard and Reserve.
UW-Green Bay Provost Julia Wallace accepted the gratitude of the veterans for Chancellor Thomas Harden and UW-Green Bay. Chancellor Harden, a staunch supporter of veterans and their families, was called out of state for the funeral of a family member — ironically also a veteran.
Noted during the reception was a jacket sewn and donated for a door prize by Eileen Kolb, senior adviser in the Registrar’s Office. Kolb made the jacket out of a U.S. Navy blanket used at the end of WWII and the Korean Conflict. Her thought was to honor her father, Cyril Bushmaker, a corporal in the U.S. Army from 1937 to 1945, who made use of the GI Bill for his education and was adamant about the power of education. Dennis Kenney, a WWII veteran, won the jacket.
Brown County Executive Tom Hinz, a 2008 alumnus of UW-Green Bay’s Adult Degree program, made remarks on behalf of the community. He shared with the audience the proud history of Brown County and the soldier it was named for, Major General Jacob Brown, military leader of the War of 1812.
Hintz said he asked a young County employee what he should address in his remarks. She quoted a proverb that said, “There would be no me, without you.” He thanked the veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Certificates of appreciation were handed out to 21 current student veterans that were able to attend the ceremony. Brian Wold played TAPS and Vets 4 Vets Club president, Sam Seefeld, gave introductory remarks and served as master of ceremonies.
In addition, both veterans and non-veterans from UW-Green Bay’s music department provided music under the direction of Mary Slavek.
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