Veterans Day events include banquet and ceremonies

by Alec Rossi | 11/14/17 2:00am

This past week Dartmouth students, alumni and veterans participated in a series of events and discussions to celebrate and commemorate Veterans Day, which was this past Saturday, Nov. 11.

The first event on Tuesday, Nov. 7 was a screening of the documentary “Dateline-Saigon,” which follows five journalists reporting in the early days of the Vietnam War. After the event, which was hosted by the Rockefeller Center in Loew Auditorium, director Tim Herman and history professor Edward Miller hosted a discussion.

Veterans Recognition Committee chair and assistant director of conferences and events Sara Campbell said that over 100 people attended the screening and discussion.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Tuck School of Business Dean Matthew Slaughter led a program called “Microbrews and the Military,” during which a panel of Tuck School of Business veterans spoke about their experience in the military.

Campbell said the annual event is an opportunity for students to learn more about the experiences veterans have had.

The next day, veterans from the Dartmouth community spoke to students at Hanover High School. Campbell said that Dartmouth-affiliated veterans visited social studies classes so the students, regardless of their future military aspirations, could learn more about the military experience.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, Tuck veterans played the Ice Vets, a team of disabled veterans from White River Junction, in the fourth annual adaptive sled hockey game that took place at the Campion Ice Rink in West Lebanon.

Board director and treasurer at Ice Vets Adaptive Sports Louisa Howard said that the event offers disabled veterans an opportunity to get back into athletics and increase their confidence by working as a team, she said.

Staff, faculty and student veterans were honored this past Friday morning at a “Remembrance Breakfast” sponsored by the College’s office of human resources at the Hanover Inn. Also on Friday, a formal drill and retreat ceremony took place on the Green, conducted by current members of Dartmouth’s ROTC program.

Geisel School of Medicine professor James Geiling MPH’14 also gave a lecture on advances in military healthcare on Friday.

Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni reserved a block of seats at the Dartmouth versus Brown University football game at Fenway Park in Boston on Saturday, Nov. 11. President of the DUSA Winnie Huang ’92 said the event sold out quickly.

That same night was the sixth annual Dartmouth Veteran’s Banquet and the fifth annual Presentation of the James Wright Award for Distinguished Service at the Langham Hotel in Boston.

“This is the first year we have [hosted the banquet] outside of Hanover, and this is the first year that DUSA has taken the entire lead in organizing the whole thing,” Huang said.

Huang said that this year the DUSA chose to focus on veterans of the Vietnam War.

“We felt strongly for this year that it was really important to honor our Vietnam veterans,” Huang said. “We want to make sure that all of our veterans feel they are appreciated for their service.”

During the Veteran’s Banquet, the James Wright Award for Distinguished Service was presented to John Baldwin ’55. Baldwin served as a Major in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as the chief of thoracic and vascular surgery. While in Vietnam, Baldwin preformed close to 2,000 surgeries and saved thousands of lives, Huang said.

Huang said that the recipients of this annual award have to meet specific selection criteria.

“This award is given out every year for a Dartmouth alum or faculty member [and] has to be [given to] a veteran who exemplifies our core values of service, college and country,” Huang said.

The keynote speaker at this year’s banquet was former College President James Wright. Wright was involved in the planning of the Yellow Ribbon Program at Dartmouth that enables veterans to pursue higher education. Wright has been frequently honored for his work with veterans and was selected by DUSA founder Nathan Bruschi ’10 to be the namesake of the award.

Campbell said the Veterans Day programming is reflective of Dartmouth’s commitment to veterans.

“By holding ceremonies [at Dartmouth], it both shows how important our veterans are, our staff veterans and student veterans are to us, but it gives them a way to participate in Veterans Day activities,” Campbell said.