Upper Iowa University recognized veterans at Monday's Veterans Day ceremony held on the Fayette campus. Featured speakers included (far left) student veteran Evan Pilch from New London, Iowa, and UIU President Bill Duffy (far right), a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
FAYETTE, Iowa (November 11, 2013) – Military service is a sacrifice the men and women of the United States armed forces are willing to burden themselves with for the sake of the people, said special guestspeaker and veteran Evan Pilch, an Upper Iowa University student from New London, Iowa. Pilch serves in the Iowa Army National Guard out of Carroll, Iowa, in the 1-168th Infantry Battalion. He and several other veterans were recognized for their service at Upper Iowa's Veterans Day ceremony held November 11 in the Student Center Ballroom.
"The places you live and serve and the risks you face are usually decided by someone else," said Sgt. Pilch in his address. "Every military member writes a blank check for the amount up to and including their life. To a service member, the interests of the nation must come first. Those duties are shared by the family and their loved ones as well.
"Military service is also a rewarding experience. There is great pride in developing one's character, becoming a leader and serving a cause far greater than yourself. Every man and woman who wears America's uniform is part of a long line of achievement and honor. No military power in history has done greater good, liberated more people, or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America."
Veterans Day is a day to remember those that fight for the freedoms of Americans. President Duffy, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, drove home the day's message by reciting a poem from Charles M. Provence:
It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial;
And it is the Soldier--who salutes the flag, who serves the flag, and whose coffin is draped
by the flag ---- who allows the protester to burn the flag.
"One of the primary reasons I chose Upper Iowa University was its rich history of serving our total military family," added. Duffy. "We have many veterans employed by UIU; we have educational centers on some of the largest military bases in the world representing the most professional military the world has ever seen. We've also had students serving who have been deployed and paid the ultimate price serving our country. I can say with great pride that Upper Iowa University and the citizens of Fayette County, are here today because you have not forgotten those who have died for our country and for the ideals we all cherish. I am so very proud to be a member of this Peacock family, and equally proud that Upper Iowa University has recently established the Military Family Fund to support those serving, and their family members, seeking to achieve their educational goals through UIU.
"I encourage you all to consider the following three requests for our veterans: spend some time with your children explaining the purpose of Veterans Day, and the sacrifices Americans have made to ensure our freedoms; take time to speak with a veteran, and ask them to share their story – never let the stories of heroism and sacrifices go untold, or they may soon be lost forever; and seek out opportunities to support our military and the families with those serving in harm's way. Rest assured, they have no peace of mind until their loved ones return."
To view more photos from the Upper Iowa University Veterans Day ceremony, click here.
About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to more than 6,200 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Associate Vice President for Communication and Marketing