The university’s celebration of Veterans Week 2013 will stretch across 10 days and multiple venues and platforms — from solemn ceremonies and expert panels, to wheelchair basketball champions, including Paralympic medalists, on the court at Crisler Center.
The university and Ann Arbor community is encouraged to join in on behalf of the hundreds of military veterans and active-duty students, faculty and staff who live, work, teach and learn beside us every day, organizers say.
“The university’s M-SPAN program provides peer, family and re-entry support to our returning military. However, few expressions of support are more powerful than communitywide observances such as the university’s Veterans’ Week,” said Dr. John Greden, founder and executive director of the Comprehensive Depression Center, professor of psychiatry, and a U.S. Army physician from 1970-74, during the Vietnam War.
“I encourage everyone to participate, welcome them, and thank them for what they did and are doing. Let them know through such personal messages how wonderful this university truly is.”
The observance will kick off Nov. 6 with the multiple-day U.S. Marine Corps and Navy Birthday Run. The next evening, an expert panel will convene to discuss “Reducing Barriers to Mental Health Services for Student Veterans and Their Families.”
On Nov. 10, Paralympic bronze medalist and U.S. Wheelchair Basketball Team Captain John Schulte, along with Paralympic gold and silver medalist Scot Severn, will compete in the eighth annual Army vs. Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game.
Additional wheelchair basketball champs will be joined by U-M active duty, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets, and student veterans to complete the competing teams. Maize Rage will cheer them on, and the U-M Dance Team, Men’s Glee Club, DJ Prime Tyme Entertainment, and the 338th Army Band will provide entertainment throughout.
Veterans Day, Nov. 11, will begin with U-M ROTC raising the Stars and Stripes on the Diag at 8 a.m., followed by a full day of activities, including student veteran and World War II veteran panels, ROTC volunteer service at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, and ROTC’s ceremonial flag-lowering at 5 p.m.
Members of the university community who have served in the U.S. military, or who are currently serving, will be feted on Nov. 12, at the sixth annual Student/Faculty/Staff Veteran and Military Appreciation Lunch.
Later that afternoon, the end of “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” and the future of LGBT individuals in the military will be the focus of expert discussion at the Michigan League.
The following day, an expert panel will convene to discuss women in the military; and, on Nov. 14, the focus turns to the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. Throughout the week, the “Walk a Mile in Her Boots” exhibit will be installed at the Michigan Union Art Lounge.
Veterans Week 2013 will wrap up Nov. 14 with a discussion and demonstration on service companion dogs, considered by many to be the soldier’s best friend.
Sponsors of Veterans Week 2013 include the Office of New Student Programs/Student Veteran and Military Services, U-M Council for Disability Concerns, Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, the Institute for Human Adjustment, the Spectrum Center, Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System; the Department of Athletics, Ford Motor Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (wheelchair basketball game); and Volunteers of America Michigan.