By Lucas Johnson
NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Tennessee State University recognized Veterans Day with a special program that emphasized the benefits veterans bring to the workforce.
Dr. Karon Uzzell-Baggett, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and former AFROTC Detachment commander at TSU, was the keynote speaker for the program on Nov. 11.
“This is a wonderful day to set aside to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the ideals of democracy and freedom,” said Uzzell-Baggett.
She went on to talk about the 4.2 percent unemployment rate for veterans recently reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and how that stat can be reduced if more veterans are hired.
Uzzell-Baggett said businesses will benefit from the attributes veterans bring, such as their leadership, resiliency, and the same selfless service that they embodied while in the military.
“Veterans continue to make lasting contributions well past the time that the military service ends,” she said. “Please remember to invest in veterans. It’s worth it.”
Highlights of the program included a wreath ceremony involving TSU President Glenda Glover, current AFROTC Detachment Commander Lt. Col. Nick Callaway, and Cadet Third Class Emily Rodriguez, a sophomore health sciences major at TSU.
There was also a stirring dramatic reading by sophomore mass communications major De’Traelyn Hubbard.
The theme for this year’s program was “Celebrating the Eleventh Hour” because Armistice Day is commemorated every year on the eleventh of November to mark the armistice signed between the allies of World War I and Germany for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven in the morning – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.
“We want to say thanks to all who have served and those who are currently serving,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, the program’s master of ceremony, and TSU’s associate vice president and chief of staff. “This recognition is a way of publicly acknowledging these heroes and saying, thanks for your service.”
To see a recording of the Veterans Day program, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IldtTk4MMjM.