When Veterans Day 2014 arrives Tuesday, the university’s celebration of the military-affiliated members of the community will already be fully underway, having started Wednesday and ending Nov. 21.
The entire community on and beyond campus is encouraged to come out for the events, all of which are informative, interesting, and free of charge.
Early events include the U-M ROTC Navy and Marine Corps run around the Diag from Wednesday evening through Friday morning. The run honors the 239th birthday of the Navy and the Marines.
The Fifth Annual Army-Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game is set for Crisler Center at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
The men’s basketball team will cheer the players on, the university’s dance team and two-time national championship cheer team also will perform, along with the 338th Army Band.
U-M ROTC cadets and midshipmen, student veterans, expert wheelchair basketball players, and Team USA Paralympians will cruise the court in retrofitted high-performance chairs.
Mike Lantry, Vietnam veteran, alumnus, and former Dallas Cowboy and Michigan All-Big Ten football standout under Coach Bo Schembechler will serve as grand marshal, and the Tri-Service Color Guard will escort the flag accompanied by the 338th Army Band.
“We all know the value of an academic community that is diverse in multiple ways. The military-affiliated members of our community contribute a singular form of experiential diversity that enriches the learning experience for all,” said Kathy White, Board of Regents chair and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
“Their very personal understanding of duty and discipline provides stellar examples to their classmates. They will readily take leadership positions and, with their sense of team spirit and adaptability, can take what and who they have available to form a successful team effort.
“This is an important opportunity for everyone in the greater Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area to acknowledge their presence, thank them for their service, and attend some excellent events.”
This year’s events also include a special focus on Vietnam War veterans, featuring Lantry, followed by a panel of Vietnam veterans, and a discussion on U-M during that war.
The Korean War and LGBT in the military also will be discussed in other venues, and the “In Her Boots Art Display” will be on exhibit in the Michigan Union Art Lounge through Nov. 21.