ROTC Programs Honor Campus Veterans

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2021) — For more than 100 years, Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) offers an opportunity for those across the United States to come together to honor those who have served in the U.S. military, and show gratitude for their service and sacrifice.

Today, the University of Kentucky is honoring its own veterans, which include hundreds of students, faculty and staff.

“Each year on Nov. 11, we pay tribute to all American veterans and express our deep appreciation for their love of country and willingness to sacrifice,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “At the University of Kentucky, our faculty, staff and student veterans enrich the lives of those around them and contribute to our community in profound ways. Our veterans are integral members of the UK family, and we are proud to celebrate and honor their service.”

The university will honor its campus veterans at the annual campus Veterans Day celebration 11:30 a.m. today in the Gatton Student Center Harris Ballroom, and on Zoom for those who cannot attend in person. The entire campus community is invited. Read more about today's celebration here.

The UK Air Force ROTC is also honoring veterans this week through multiple events. This past weekend, Air Force ROTC (from both UK and University of Tennessee) honored prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/MIA) by completing a 5K run on campus. They ended the 5k with running the game ball onto the field for the UK vs. Tennessee football game. Air Force ROTC cadets also volunteered for the 2021 Veterans Affairs 5K on Nov. 7, and are volunteering for Lexington’s Week of Valor events going on this week. One Air Force ROTC cadre member — Staff Sgt. Libby Sheets — will be recognized at the UK women’s basketball game this evening for the #poWEr of Women campaign. Air Force ROTC will also have an all-female color guard of both UK Army and Air Force ROTC cadets at the game.

A&S faculty member Philipp J. Kraemer, Chellgren Endowed Chair for Undergraduate Excellence and professor of psychology, recalls his experiences. 

U.S. Marine Corps, corporal (E-4) for two years (one tour).

What inspired you to serve? I was without direction upon graduating from high school and a group of my friends thought the Marine Corps would “be cool.”

How has your military experience influenced your career/experience at UK? Despite the trauma, the experience eventually gave me the maturity, self-confidence and discipline to pursue a productive life. I cannot imagine choosing a career as a university professor without my Marine Corps experience.

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