Supporting those who served

Students honor veterans on campus through speeches

By Eunice Tibay
On November 16, 2017

Photo by Axel Marcenaro
The flag is displayed before the ceremonial folding begins.

Veterans were honored during the Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 10 at the Houston Harte University Center.

"It’s the one day of the year when we really just set aside time to thank those served our country," said Susan Williams, Director of Affiliated Military and Veteran Services. "Serving our nation is a pretty big sacrifice so it’s important to take just a little time out, reflect upon what they’ve done, what they’ve given to us--freedom, liberty, equality, and everything else in America."

The keynote speaker during the event was Sergeant Major (Ret) Troy Hensley, who spoke about the need to study hard and learn American history.

"Bear down on your studies and you’ll be our future leader," Hensley said. "We need you. We need you to know American history. If you don’t know where you came from, you’re certain to make the same mistakes again."

Hensley, a native of West Texas, joined the Marine Corps in the 1950s and holds numerous awards such as the Bronze Star Medal for Combat V with Gold Star for subsequent awards for heroic achievements, the Purple Heart, and the Naval Commendation Medal with a Combat V among many others.

"He’s a very interesting man; he’s done a lot in his life," junior Nicole Meyer said. "You should definitely listen to him."

A pinning ceremony was held for Vietnam Veteran 1st Sgt. (Ret) Robert Gomez, who also conducted the ceremonial Call to Order at the beginning of the program.

Several information stands that talked about the major wars that the US participated in such as the Vietnam War and the War on Terror were placed around the event.

There was a table with items that carry symbolic meaning like the empty chair and the Bible set up in dedication for prisoners of war and those who are missing in action.

Following the ceremony was a reception that celebrated the 242nd birthday of the United States Marines Corps where the cake was cut using swords by the oldest and the youngest member of the marines.

"The importance of Veteran’s Day is honoring those people who wrote a check equivalent to their lives with the hopes that they will never have to cash it but the willingness to do so, " sophomore Lauren Martin said. "It’s all in the name of the freedom that America represents."

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