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UTHSC Honors its Military Veterans



UTHSC’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Kennard Brown, left, presents a token of appreciation to military veteran Eric Young, a grounds logistics technician at the university. (Photos by Natalie Brewer/UTHSC)

Eric Young, a grounds logistics technician at UTHSC, served his country in the Marine Corps. Today, he was proud to join other military veterans at the university’s annual Veterans Day Tribute.

“It’s nice to be remembered for what you’ve done,” he said at the breakfast held in the lobby of the College of Health Professions in the 930 Madison Building.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Kennard Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, also a Marine Corps veteran, opened the program. “This is a very small token of our appreciation for the price that so many veterans paid,” he said. “Everyone here in the room put themselves in harm’s way for their loved ones and the rest of us who are here in this country. It doesn’t matter what your specialty was, the potential for the sacrifice was just as great. You are fortunate and blessed to have been able to make it back to enjoy the fruits of your labor, not everybody was as fortunate. The rest of the people in this country owe you a debt of gratitude.”

Cynthia Russell, PhD, associate vice chancellor of Faculty Affairs in the Office of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs, who is married to an Army veteran, also spoke to the early morning gathering. She said everyone can benefit from lessons taught by the military, citing the concept of the greater good and duty beyond self. “We can never serve you in the way you served us, but we can learn from you,” she said.

Veterans from many branches of the military were honored at a breakfast this morning.

Since 2015, UTHSC has been recognized as a “VETS Campus,” a higher education institution that facilitates the transition from service in the military to enrollment in a university. Many programs at UTHSC aid veterans to further their academic careers.

The observance was hosted by the Office of Equity and Diversity in collaboration with the Office of Special Events and Community Affairs.

Each veteran was individually recognized and presented with a token of appreciation from the university.

“Thank you for not running away from danger,” said Chandra Alston, EdD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, associate vice chancellor of Human Resources. “Because of your commitment, I am free today.”