North Texas Daily

UNT honors veterans throughout the week

UNT honors veterans throughout the week

November 11
08:56 2013

By Ian Pribanic/Contributing Writer

Coinciding with the week of Veterans Day, Nov. 11, UNT and a number of Denton veterans organizations will host events to honor and provide support for the growing number of veterans dealing with the transition from military to civilian life.

Monday

A Veterans Day Program will take place from 11 a.m. to noon at the Denton County Courthouse, 110 W. Hickory St. Hosting the event are the UNT Veterans Center, the Denton County Veterans Service Office and the Texas Women’s University Veterans Program. Denton Attorney Forrest Beadle will be the keynote speaker and representatives from both UNT and TWU will be there to speak, said Nancy Kolsti, from the UNT University Relations office.

At 7:30 p.m. , the UNT Brass Band will host a “Veterans Day Salute” honoring veterans with a number of patriotic songs. The performance will be in Winspear Hall at the Murchison Performing Arts Center, 2100 North I-35E frontage road, Denton. Tickets are free for veterans and UNT students at the box office, $10 for adults and $8 for seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, theMpac.com or by phone at (940) 369-7802.

Ceremonies will begin with a presentation of the colors by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 920, Denton. Then, led by 21-year Air Force veteran Dr. Brian Bowman, the UNT Brass Band will perform selections from various war periods, including World War I and World War II, and solo vocalist Jonathan Yarrington will perform “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables.” Veterans will also be asked to stand and be recognized when their particular service song is played.

“Music has had a role in the past, in each veteran’s military life,” Bowman said. “It can play a role in recalling positive things, act as a reminder of the service, and can provide a reawakening of the feelings of patriotism that inspired many to join the service to begin with.”

Tuesday

The SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society will host an induction ceremony for new members from 5 to 7 p.m. at UNT’s Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. SALUTE is a national honor society for veteran and active-duty personnel with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher or a graduate student GPA of 3.5 or higher.

“We’re expecting to honor six people at the moment,” said Diane Hadden, student veteran and peer mentor for UNT Student Veterans Services. “That number could go up though. We’re still taking applications until Tuesday.”

SALUTE has 5,333 members across the country and currently has 95 UNT members, said John Fowler, United States Coast Guard veteran and administrator for the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.

“We also have 138 total chapters at two- and four-year universities nationwide,” Fowler said.

SALUTE provides scholarship assistance for a wide range of student veterans including:

  • Retired military personnel
  • Disabled veterans
  • Active duty members
  • National Guard
  • Reservists paying for college through military service

Wednesday

The UNT Career Center will host a Veterans Employer Panel from 4 to 6 p.m. in Chestnut Hall, room 120, 1800 Chestnut St. in Denton.

The panel consists of several veterans currently working in different civilian positions within the DFW metroplex, said Arthur Lumzy, associate director of the UNT Career Center. The discussion will focus on job searching and applying military experience to civilian positions, he said.

Partnering with the UNT Veterans Center, the Career Center has confirmed past UNT recruiters and veterans, Brian Parks from the United States Auto Association and Travis Summers from Farmer’s Insurance, will be part of the discussion panel addressing the growing student-veteran population at UNT.

“Our current and former servicemen and servicewomen have received quality training and have diverse skill sets from their previous work experience,” Lumzy said. “We are trying to create opportunities for student veterans to interface with employers who have an interest in hiring.”

Thursday

On Thursday, UNT Student Veterans Services will have an Open House in Sage Hall room 123 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Student-veterans can find out about veterans services offered on the UNT campus and refreshments will be available.

“You can come by and talk about what Veterans Services does, what we have planned,” Hadden said. “The SVA club president will be available and people can also find out about the Veterans Honors Society.”

Some on-campus services for student veterans include helping with a VA claim or classes, helping with a living situation and aiding orientation to the campus

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. a Veterans Fair will take place in front of Sage Hall. The fair will have representatives from UNT showcasing a number of university services. It will also have a number of local veteran-related organizations that provide support for veterans and their families.

“We want people to know this stuff is out there and available to them,” said John Yonek, student-veteran and peer mentor for Student Veterans Services. “We have people that can help if someone needs it on and off the UNT campus.”

Some of the attendees include Paul Bastaich, treasurer of the Denton County Veterans Coalition, Mary Roberts, veteran psychologist to the Military, Attorney Joan Gilham from the Texas Bar Association and holistic health coach Sadie Ryckoff.

Other individuals and groups scheduled for the fair include:

  • A Denton Veterans Service Officer
  • Camp Fire Childcare Services
  • Grace After Fire
  • Academic Success Coordinator Tara Petty
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Veterans Marriage Enrichment Project
  • Deborah Paulk-Rogers (peer groups and therapeutic painting)
  • MHMR – Military Veterans Peer Network
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Cycle Operators Guild (with free bike check-ups)

And Thursday night, UNT Libraries’ Speaks Out Series, Conversations with Faculty on Contemporary Issues, will host a program on Veteran’s Re-entry and Suicide Awareness from 6 to 8 p.m. in the UNT Willis Library Forum, 1506 Highland St.

Veteran and UNT Regents Professor Guenter Gross, along with former students and veterans David Smith and Jason Gibson, will participate in a round-table discussion talking about the challenges veterans face returning to civilian life from a highly regimented military environment.

“This particular program is actually happening because of a Denton Record-Chronicle article from June,” said Diane Wahl, Willis Library librarian. “Dr. Gross and David Smith were interviewed, along with other veterans, about the issues facing veterans when they come back home.”

Discussions like these are very important, Wahl said, “as the suicide rate for veterans and active duty personnel is growing.”

Overview

Student Veterans Services administrator Domingo Rodriquez expressed what a week’s worth of events geared toward student veterans was all about.

“We really just want to remind veterans of the services that are here on campus, and that we have a number of community services outside of school also available to them,” he said.

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