The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is proud to host the 2021 Veterans Week celebration, running Nov. 8-12, 2021. 

This annual event features a week of programming that educates and celebrates the experiences and sacrifice of those who have served our country. All events are free and are open to the entire university community and to the general public unless otherwise noted. We encourage you to attend as many of these events as you can. Out of an abundance of caution for the health of our community and our veterans, we will be offering all events as either hybrid virtual/in-person formats or entirely virtual formats. Please join us for respectful, educational, and inspirational panels, lectures, and stories.

If you have any questions about this year’s events, please email Philip Larson, program director for U-M Veteran and Military Services, at [email protected].

Monday, November 8

Transition From the Military 

10:00 am - 11:00 am EST

Michigan Union, Wolverine Room

The transition from student to career can be difficult and frustrating. This panel will feature veterans who will discuss their experiences and how they built both their personal brand and the success of the companies that hired them. All attendees are encouraged to engage in discussion and share their experiences.

Veteran and Military Student Success in the Classroom 

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

This program will offer both data driven and practical strategies for supporting student veteran/military student success in the classroom, presented by Dr. Sarah E. Minnis.

Veteran Status as a DEI Identity

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Michigan Union, Wolverine Room

What does it mean to serve alongside people of every race, gender, creed, religion, and place of origin? How does military service take people from different backgrounds and create an effective unit? Unknown to many, the United States Military is the most diverse employer in the U.S. Philip Larson, director of Veteran and Military Services, and Kali Lake, program manager, Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), will talk about how they see veteran status as a DEI identity from their own experiences and working with students.

Tuesday, November 9

Veteran and Military Undergraduate Student Panel 

10:00 am - 11:00 am EST

Michigan League, Michigan Room

What do students who have served in the military think about their experiences at U-M? What made them join the military? What did they do while they were in the military? These are just some of the questions you will hear answered by a group of students who have served in the U.S. military and are now studying at the University of Michigan!

National Student Success Data: PAVE 

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Join us as Dr. Michelle Kees and Kali Lake share about the history of and research on the Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE) program, and learn more about the powerful impact peer support has on student veterans.

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Veteran Graduate Student Panel

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Michigan League, Michigan Room

This panel will feature graduate veteran and military students. It will discuss their experiences both in service and as graduate students. Areas of discussion will include military experience, transition to graduate school, challenges in graduate school, and intersections of identity.

How the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Impacted Medical and Civilian Critical Care

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

This interactive session features Dr. Kevin Ward, a professor in the Michigan Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine, discussing the medical innovations, changes in civilian care, and harbingers of future advances in critical care spurred by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Wednesday, November 10

Vietnam War Veteran Panel 

10:00 am - 11:30 am EST

Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room

These panelists, who came home after Vietnam to successful civilian careers, discuss their experiences as Vietnam veterans. What do they think today of the first war America thought it had lost?

Vietnam and Afghanistan 

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room

In 2021, with the withdrawal of U.S. and allied forces, the Afghanistan capital Kabul fell. Anger and confusion reigned across America, mixed with relief that the 20-year war is over. Almost 50 years before, Saigon fell after the last American forces pulled out of Vietnam. What can we hope for in Afghanistan? How do Afghanistan veterans feel about their sacrifice and service today compared to how Vietnam vets now feel about theirs? What, in fact, does winning a modern war look like? This panel will be one of the first in the nation to ask this urgently important question.

Living With PTSD

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room

Discuss life with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with Rob Wells, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army National Guard. Sgt. Wells served for 21 years, including time spent in a war zone. This discussion will touch on Sgt. Wells' own experiences with PTSD in order to provide resources and hope to others who may be going through similar struggles.

Michael Tougias, Author, Presents on The Untold Story of the Cuban Missile Crisis

3:00 pm - 4:15 pm EST

New York Times bestselling author Michael Tougias will give a lecture and slide presentation on his book "Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America's Most Dangerous Spy Mission."

U-M Stories of Service

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST

Rackham Auditorium

The University of Michigan is proud to host the sixth annual Stories of Service: An Evening with Veterans. Stories of Service is a night to honor those who have served in the U.S. military and highlight how to support veterans and their families. Attendees will hear five stories of service and sacrifice from those who served in the U.S. military. You will hear humanizing, moving stories, filled with humor, loss, and insight — all to honor our men and women in uniform. This event continues to raise awareness for Fisher House Michigan.

Thursday, November 11

Flag Raising on the Diag

8:00 am - 8:30 am EST

Central Campus Diag Flagpole

Join ROTC as we honor our military with a ceremonial raising of the flag in the morning on Veterans Day on the University of Michigan Diag!

Women Military/Veteran Panel

9:00 am - 10:00 am EST

Michigan Union, Pendleton Room

Women serve alongside their male counterparts in some of the most dangerous work in the military. Often they have to overcome sexist stereotypes, sexual harassment, or worse, all while serving their country. Come and hear their stories of perseverance, grit, and courage.

Students, Staff, & Faculty Military and Veteran Appreciation Lunch

11:00 am - 2:00 pm EST

Michigan Union Ballroom

A lunch to show the university’s appreciation for our students, staff, and faculty who have served or who are serving in the U.S. military. RSVP required.

Iraq & Afghanistan Panel

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Michigan Union, Pond Room

The Iraq conflict ended in December 2015 and the Afghanistan War ended in August 2021. We have been at war for a generation, yet most of the civilian population had little knowledge or awareness of the toll that took on the young women and men who served during these conflicts. Panelists will describe why they joined the military, their time deployed, what they learned, and their journey home.

Flag Lowering on the Diag

5:00 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Law Quad Flagpole

Join ROTC as we honor our military with a ceremonial lowering of the flag in the evening on Veterans Day on the University of Michigan Diag!

Friday, November 12

Hidden Burdens of Military Families

10:00 am - 12:00 pm EST

Schorling Auditorium (Room 1202) School of Education

There are numerous “hidden burdens” that impact all members of military families. Join us for a panel discussion to facilitate understanding of and dialogue on the unique stresses and dislocation that are inherent in military family life from a variety of perspectives. This event will be open to University of Michigan students, faculty, and administration, as well as the general public.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits and Claims

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EST

Representatives from the Ann Arbor VA will discuss VA health care and VA benefits.

Ross VETx

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm EST

Register to attend

Robertson Auditorium (701 Tappan Ave.) Ross School of Business

VETx is your chance to connect with the men and women of the Ross veteran community and hear about their hard earned lessons and insights. This will be an in-person event featuring a series of long and short stories from veteran MBA students.