The University of North Georgia honored veterans during a military review and parade held Tuesday, Nov. 11 on the university's Dahlonega Campus. The event was one of several reviews held every semester by the university's Corps of Cadets.
The review featured the university's Corps of Cadets, an exhibition by the Blue Ridge Rifles Precision Drill Team, a performance by the Golden Eagle Band, and the Patriot Choir singing the National Anthem. Also featured in the Color Guard for the parade was the "Centennial Colors" from the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS). Centennial Colors is a program in which a single American flag will travel between AMCSUS' 50-plus member schools, including UNG, in celebration of the association's 100th year.
Guest speaker for the event was retired Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, president of Georgia Military College, a liberal arts junior college in Milledgeville. His last three assignments as a lieutenant general included commander of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) from December 2011 to September 2013; commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission-Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom from November 2009 to November 2011 and commanding general of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth.
Caldwell shared a story about his father, and the sacrifices he made for one of his soldiers.
"This kind of personal courage and selfless service is what defines the American soldier and has defined the soldiers from the greatest generation to those of today. Some are here with us and it defines you," he said. "I am proud to be a veteran. I am proud of all the veterans who have gone before me and those who have been in battle with me. And I am proud of you cadets who are standing here today in front of me. … to each and every one of you out there in formation, my sincere thanks on behalf of an incredibly grateful nation."
Caldwell's decorations include, among others, the Department of Homeland Security Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Bronze Star Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
From left, cadet Col. Lane Hodnett, commander of UNG's
Earlier in the day, UNG President Bonita Jacobs presented to the university library a copy of "The Poppy Lady," a children's book written by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh about Georgia native Moina Belle Michael, who established the red poppy of Flanders fields as a universal symbol of tribute to World War I casualties and veterans. The book was given to the university by the Gainesville Rotary Club, which presents copies of the book to schools across the region. The book will be placed into the children's section at the John Harrison Hosch Library on UNG's Gainesville Campus.
Throughout the day, UNG's Gainesville Campus participated in the National Roll Call event, sponsored by the Student Veterans of America. The National Roll Call entails reading of the names of veterans and those killed in the nation's wars and conflicts.
UNG is one of only six senior military colleges in the country and has been designated as The Military College of Georgia by the state legislature. UNG also has consistently been recognized as "military friendly" by national publications such as Military Times magazine, GI Jobs magazine and Military Advanced Education magazine.