University of West Florida continues support of Military Veterans through upcoming programs

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

The University of West Florida continues its efforts to support military veterans through several Veterans Day observance programs, events and initiatives on campus in the coming weeks.

 UWF will host its annual Veterans Day Observance program on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the UWF Commons Auditorium. The guest speaker at the event will be Chief Master Sgt. Walter H. Richardson, member of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen. Refreshments will be served from 10 to 10:25 a.m., and lunch will be served after the event.

Richardson, a 30-year military veteran, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1949. He was among the 1,500 enlisted men chosen to help in the integration of the Air Force and was selected as one of the twelve outstanding airmen of the Air Force in 1972.  In 2010, Rep. Jeff Miller recognized Richardson for his service with the Tuskegee Airmen by presenting him with a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal. The Tuskegee Airmen were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by Congress, in 2007. Richardson’s life is chronicled in his memoir, How Great Thou Art: A Black Boy’s Depression-Era Success Story.

 Additionally, The Art Gallery at UWF will present “Bill Mauldin: An Exhibition of Selected Drawings and Prints” beginning Nov. 8 and concluding on Jan. 10. The opening reception will be held Friday, Nov. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

 Artist and soldier Bill Mauldin has given generations of Americans insight into the military experience during World War II through his satirical wit. His representation of the lives of soldiers, as seen through his characters “Willie and Joe,” reveals the hardships endured and the hypocrisy and contradictions of warfare. At the time, his cartoons were seen and enjoyed by soldiers across the world and by Americans at home. Today, the cartoons help the 21st century viewer understand the thoughts, attitudes and experiences of “the greatest generation,” the men and women who helped shape our society into what it is today.

 On Friday, Nov. 16, the Center on Aging and MVRC will co-host a Colloquium on the Health and Well-Being of Military Veterans from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the UWF Conference Center. The event, entitled “Life Issues and Opportunities for Veterans of All Ages,” will include a panel discussion of veterans on life issues, an overview and update on Veterans Affairs Services and a presentation from the Robert E. Mitchell Center for Prisoner of War Studies. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP at coa@uwf.edu.

 Last year, the university opened the Military Veterans Resource Center (MVRC), which is dedicated to assisting military and veteran students during the transition from the military environment to campus life. This fall, the MVRC awarded five new scholarships to military veterans and spouses or dependents of military veterans to provide financial aid as they pursue a college education.

The center provides academic advising, tutoring, counseling and other services in order to meet the needs of military and veteran students. For additional information about the MVRC, visit www.uwf.edu/militaryveterans.

For additional information on events at UWF, visit www.events.uwf.edu.

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