Saluting the flag at the UW-Green Bay Veterans Day Reception

Photo gallery: Saluting UW-Green Bay veterans, families and active military

Typically a combination of both somber and celebratory, the annual UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Veteran Reception, held Monday, November 11, 2019, was no exception. The Phoenix Room was packed, as members of the campus and community gathered to honor vets and active military members.

As Chancellor Van Gruensven welcomed guests, she shared her personal story and pride in those who sacrifice and serve. Van Gruensven’s father, Robert Starck, Sr. is an 87-year old Marine and Korean War veteran, who still wears his scars, and, she shared, “has a purple heart in his memory chest.” Van Gruensven shared the pain of the tremendous loss suffered by her family, when a nephew, a former member of the 82nd Airborne Unit in the Army, passed from complications brought on by PTSD following multiple tours in the Middle East.

Jones, a UW-Green Bay Police officer, is a member of the 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota, Air National Guard, and returned recently from active duty. But while he and his fellow soldiers have returned without casualty, he has witnessed plenty of it… especially in the States. Jones was an innocent bystander and concert goer at what has been labeled the “Las Vegas Massacre,” where 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in October of 2017 at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Jones, a decorated officer, was able to use his instincts as a police officer and trained military to usher his friends and other concert goer to safety during the horrific few moments when a gunman sprayed the crowd with bullets from a nearby hotel room and then committed suicide.

Jones spoke to the packed room about life lessons in resiliency.

UW-Green Bay Music, once again honored the vets with an “Armed Forces Salute.”

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Chancellors Veterans Reception-1

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

UW-Green Bay is hosting a 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Cofrin Library

Join local protective services representatives, students, faculty and staff in climbing the Cofrin Library stairwell, in memory of the brave souls who lost their lives the day of the 9/11 attacks. The attacks killed almost 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000 others. The event is Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.IMG_3631 in the Cofrin Library — second to eighth floor stairwell.

Vets 4 Vets, ROTC and University Police representatives will be on hand, and there will be military, firefighter, and police related items/memorabilia on display at the plaza area of the library’s second floor. Flag pins will be handed out to the first 50 people who climb to the eighth floor, and there will be snacks and refreshments available in the second floor plaza area.

The event is presented by UW-Green Bay Vets 4 Vets student club, ROTC, University Police and the Wellness Committee.

Veteran’s Lounge Grand Re-opening

The UW-Green Bay campus community and service people gathered Wednesday (March 21, 2018) for an open house celebrating the grand opening of the Veteran’s Lounge in its new location in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall, Room 227. A brief program began with remarks from Chancellor Gary L. Miller. Vets 4 Vets president Nic Cravillion took the podium to express gratitude to the space’s sponsors, Craig and Karen Dickman, and presented them with a gift.

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Veteran's Lounge Re-Dedication 3/21/2018

– Photos by Kimberly Vlies, Marketing and University Communication

It’s never too late to say thank you, Honor Flight folks visiting

After serving their country and thinking that their sacrifices went unnoticed, Old Glory Honor Flight are welcoming veterans home. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. join the UW-Green Bay Vets 4 Vets organization in the Christie Theatre for a “Hail to Heroes” event aiming to recognize and bring awareness of Old Glory Honor Flight, whose sole mission is to thank our veterans. Hear from veterans who have taken their Tour of Honor to Washington, D.C. and were finally, after decades of waiting, welcomed home. Old Glory Honor Flight board member, Wendy Fleury, will be explaining the Honor Flight program and discussing the experience. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

UW-Green Bay student veteran receives high honor

Gries receives Wortham AwardUW-Green Bay student Army veteran and National Guard service member Nicholas Gries is the seventh recipient of the Thomas E. Wortham IV Achievement Award. The award, named after a Wisconsin Army National Guard Soldier and Chicago Police officer slain off-duty in 2010, recognizes both outstanding military and volunteer achievements. Read the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs story.

Gries is a co-founder of the Wisconsin chapter of 4th HOOAH, Inc., a national non-profit organization dedicated to support for forward-deployed service members, their families and returning veterans. See the Inside UW-Green Bay feature from 2015.

Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

TRIO tops 1,000 holiday cards for military vets!

Their goal was a daunting 900 cards.  With the help of many people across campus and throughout the community, staff in the TRIO Office at UW-Green Bay not only met the goal, but exceeded it by over 100 cards!  “Thank you to all who donated their time and/or resources from their holiday, paper-writing and exam preparations to assist in this endeavor.” Participants included UWGB students and staff, SASU, the Boy and Girl Scouts of De Pere, the Vets 4 Vets Club, and A’Viands. “Together with the TRIO Upward Bound high school students, we were able to make the holidays a little brighter for the residents of the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King and the Western Nebraska Veterans Home.  The cards were very creative, festive and thankful.  A shout out to you all – thank you very much!”

TRIO and Vets 4 Vets will make holiday cards for vets… with your help

Again this year, TRIO and the student Vets 4 Vets club intend to make a difference in the lives of American veterans residing at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, Wis., and the Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff. For some vets, organizers note, the only holiday card they received last year was from the TRIO Upward Bound students and Vets 4 Vets members. “Please consider assisting us in this effort. We need to make about 900 cards in less than a month! We did it last year (barely, but we did it), and with your help we can do it again. And you don’t need to be the ‘crafty’ sort in order to help!” On Saturday, Nov. 14, from 1:30 to 5 p.m., there will be a card-making party in the Alumni Rooms in the University Union. All supplies will be provided, as well as examples from Pinterest and advice from ‘craftier’ participants if you need inspiration or a template… or you can help simply by writing notes inside the cards. A’viands will be providing cookies, punch and cappuccino. Members of the Vets 4 Vets Club will be there, as well as the Upward Bound students and members of SASU. Come join the fun, and help us let a veteran know how much his or her service to our country is appreciated. For more information, check out our slideshow outside our office in Student Services at SS-1721, just down the hall from the Dean of Students office. Better yet, stop on in and see us! Or email Jayne or call 465-2445. If your organization is interested, we would love to speak with you. Please help us make a difference!”

Another call for ‘Adopt a Veteran Family’ donations

Elaine Koltz of veterans affairs shares an update: Thank you to all who have donated to the UWGB Vets for Vets “Adopt a Veteran Family” project. UWGB V4V has joined up with NWTC to adopt a veteran family in need. We still need your help for a UWGB Veteran and her family this Holiday Season. Any denomination is welcome. We will be purchasing gift cards to present to the family on Dec. 19… and collecting gifts right up until the 18th. If you would like more information, revisit our previous post or contact Elaina in the Financial Aid Office at or 920-465-2065. “We very much appreciate your support and wish you and your families the very best of the holiday season.”