The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is proud to host the 2022 Veterans Week celebration, running Nov. 7-11.
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 7
Veteran Status Is a Part of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
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 U.S. military is the most diverse employer in the country. It has constantly led the way in expanding its meaning of servicemember and pushed racial, gender, and sexual orientation boundaries decades before the civilian workplace.
Military service is, in itself, a distinct identity and one that veterans and active military members must weigh against their own multiple self- and society-selected ones.
Kali Lake, program manager, Peer Advisors for Veteran Education (PAVE), will talk about how she sees veteran status as a DEI identity from her own experiences and working with students.
Tuesday, November 8
Vietnam Veteran Panel
Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union
The fourth year of the Vietnam War, 1969 was the deadliest for Americans. It was also the year those Americans had the North Vietnamese on the ropes. Hanoi was about to ask for terms when President Richard Nixon called first, prompting them not to give up. This year’s Vietnam Panel features three veterans who were in the air and on the ground of the Mekong Delta in 1969. All saw action and acts of humanity they have never forgotten and came home to long and successful civilian careers. What do they think today of the first war America thought it had lost?
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam Panel
Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union
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 was over. Questions and controversy remain regarding the rationale for the Iraq invasion, and the future of Iraq is still uncertain. So both of our recent wars have ended with questions of “what it all meant.” Almost 50 years before, Saigon fell after the last American forces pulled out of Vietnam, raising similar questions of what service and sacrifice means if a conflict is not resolved well.
How do Afghanistan and Iraq 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 from those who were there.
Wednesday, November 9
Women in the Military Panel
Vandenberg Room, Michigan League
Since World War 1 and before, women have served vital supportive roles in the U.S. military. Now women are serving alongside their male counterparts in some of the most dangerous work in the military. Often they have to overcome sexist stereotypes, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, all while serving their country. Come and hear their stories of perseverance, grit, and courage when they honorably served in the U.S. military.
Translating Military Experiences to the Job Market
The transition from student to career can be difficult and frustrating. But no more so than the transition from the military to a civilian career. The experience of military veterans as they transition to civilian jobs reveals the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. companies today. These companies face rapidly shifting market demands and available materials. In a global business climate where even the basic supply chain is failing, the need is to innovate, adapt, and overcome. Veterans are trained for and have real-world experience in handling the unexpected. They are also accustomed to working with knowledge experts and rapidly implementing change to meet new and sometimes unexpected challenges.
This panel will feature veterans who will discuss their experiences and how they used team building and other transferable skills, job-search techniques, and networking to build 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.
LGBTQ+ in the Military Panel
Kalamazoo Room, Michigan League
Since 1778, when Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin became the first servicemember dismissed from the military for homosexuality, persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender have faced discrimination in the military. Since the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," LGBTQ+ service members have been allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military, and federal benefits have been extended to cover their dependents. Come hear these veterans talk about their service, sacrifice, and discrimination they faced while serving their country.
Stories of Service
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The University of Michigan presents the seventh annual Stories of Service: An Evening with Veterans. This event continues to raise awareness and funds for Fisher House Michigan.
Less than 10% of the U.S. population has served in the military, yet stories of service and movies about military service continue to be written and be popular — and many of these have little to do with the reality of serving in the military.
We invite you to come and listen to true stories of life in the military. You will hear humanizing, moving stories, filled with humor, loss, and insight — all to honor the service of our men and women in uniform.
Dr. Ray Christian: Retired paratrooper and national award-winning storyteller. Ray produces the podcast “What’s Ray Saying?”, which features stories born out of his experiences with poverty, racial injustice, his military experiences, and his sense of adventure.
Dr. John “Joe” Schwarz: Joe served in the the U.S. House of Representatives and the Michigan State Senate, as well as mayor of Battle Creek, Mich. He is an alumnus of the University of Michigan (1959), a medical doctor, and served in the U.S. Navy and the CIA during the Vietnam War.
Andrea M. Norton: Andrea is a champion for women veterans and those who identify as LGBTQ. She was the first LGBTQ veteran care coordinator at the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. She has worked in the VA medical center in Saginaw, working with homeless veteran populations and as a mental health case manager. She has a bachelors and masters degree in social work. Andrea is an Air Force veteran.
Derek Blumke: Derek is the State of Michigan adjutant & quartermaster of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Derek served 12 years combined between active duty Air Force and MI Air National Guard. He was deployed to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. In 2007, Derek founded the Student Veterans Association at University of Michigan, where he is an alumnus. Soon after, he cofounded the national Student Veterans of America, where he served as president.
Miracle Okoro: Miracle is a Nigerian-American poet, student, and child advocate who now lives in Asheville, N.C., with her beloved dog Taz. Miracle joined the Army in April 2019 and is currently a mechanic in the Army Reserves.
Jennifer Lamb: Jennifer enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1994 and later commissioned as an officer on active duty until 2002. She was the first woman Marine assigned to an infantry company with Small Craft Company, 2nd Marine Division. Her last assignment was as the battalion executive officer for Camp Johnson, N.C., where she was serving during the attack on the United States during 9/11. Jennifer has a masters degree in social work and a masters degree in child development. She worked at Mott Children's Hospital, the University of Michigan's Military Support Programs and Networks, and for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
Thursday, November 10
Author's Presentation of His Book, “Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan”
Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union
Author Douglas Stanton will review the heroic actions taken by the 5th Special Forces Group Operational Detachment Alpha 595 to liberate a region in Afghanistan from the Taliban without tanks or trucks, but by only using horses. This book became the inspiration for the major motion picture “12 Strong” by Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon.
Mr. Stanton will provide the historical context of the book and inform the audience of leadership techniques used by these Special Forces that can be applied to your everyday decision-making to improve performance.
Mr. Stanton will also discuss the new chapter in his book, "Visiting The Story 20 Years Later: What did we win, what did we lose, and what did it cost?". Additional details can be found on his author website.
Student Military Veteran Panel
Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union
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!
Marine Corps Birthday
Maize and Blue Room, Student Activities Building
Join as the Marine Corps at U-M celebrate 247 years of service to our nation! On Nov. 10, Marines around the world cut a traditional cake in celebration of the Corps' birth. In light of this tradition, the Michigan Ross Armed Forces Association (AFA) will host a cake-cutting ceremony to celebrate the Marine Corps' 247th birthday.
Share in the pomp, ceremony, and tradition of a Marine Corps birthday!
Friday, November 11
Ceremonial Flag Raising
Flagpole, Central Campus Diag
Join us for the ceremonial raising of the flag. This tradition is done each day at every military base and station across the U.S. and around the world. Come and join us as we respect those who continue to serve their country and those who have served by participating in this important tradition.
14th Annual Faculty/Staff/Student Veteran and Military Appreciation Lunch
Ballroom, Michigan Union
RSVP Required by Invite Sent to Your Email
All faculty, staff, and students who are currently serving in the U.S. military or who have served are invited to our annual lunch to honor your service and sacrifice to our nation and service to our university. For questions about the invite, please email Philip Larson, program director of Veteran and Military Services, at email@example.com.
Military Melodies Played on the Central Campus Carillon
Central Campus Carillon, Burton Tower
Carillon students Zoe Lei and Michael Ngan will include a medley of "The Caissons Go Rolling Along," "The Marine's Hymn," and "Anchors Aweigh," plus "Semper Fidelis" and Tiffany Ng’s arrangement of "Eternal Father, Strong to Save."
Ceremonial Flag Lowering
Flagpole, Law Quad
Join us for the ceremonial lowering of the flag. This tradition is done each day at every military base and station across the U.S. and around the world. Come and join us as we respect those who continue to serve their country and those who have served by participating in this important tradition.
Robertson Auditorium, Ross School of Business
Every year, in honor of Veterans Day, the Ross School of Business Armed Forces Association hosts a series of veteran speakers sharing the experiences that made them the leaders who they are today. VETx is your chance to connect with the men and women of the Ross veteran community and to hear about some of the hardest-earned lessons and insights in the entire Ross student body. This year we are back to a live, in-person event featuring a series of long and short stories from veteran MBA students. We are also broadcasting the event live for those who cannot attend in person.