UW-Green Bay Recognizes New Generation of Veterans

Thank you Mike Crum, for your service to our county and your service to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter!

By Matt Smith, WBAY TV 2   Click to see Video

Hundreds of veterans can be found on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay campus. Wisconsin’s newest veterans were honored Wednesday, on Veterans Day.

“I served two tours over in Iraq,” UWGB student John Bahde said.

“I did four years in the Marine Corps,” UWGB student Mike Crum said.

“I got deployed to Korea, Japan, and also Iraq,” UWGB student Matthew Christianson said.

They were once men and women armed on the front lines. Now they sit front-row in classrooms everywhere.

“We really didn’t fit in with the brand new freshmen,” Bahde remarked.

“Being a non-traditional student at the age of 30, to come back to college was really difficult,” Crum said.

At UW-Green Bay alone there are around 300 student veterans integrating into the campus this year.

For the fourth year in a row, they were honored in a special on-campus Veterans Day ceremony.

In attendance from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was Brigadier General William Gothard, commander of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command.

Green Bay’s 432nd Civil Affairs unit falls under his direction.

“We as Americans have paid a great price just in blood and in the coin of the realm,” Gothard said.

The brigadier general helped present awards to UW-Green Bay students who are about to deploy or have recently returned, including Matthew Christianson, who served five years in the Marine Corps, including time in Iraq.

“I’ve been getting little text messages all morning saying Happy Veterans Day and thanks for everything you’ve done,” Christianson said.

And that’s what this day is about, as our newest generation of veterans brings a new perspective on a day that first marked the end of World War I.

“It meant a lot more than it did when I first went in,” Christianson said. “Before I went in, it was just another day. You’d honor it, but at the same time it wouldn’t mean anything to you.”

“Just a little bit of recognition can go a long ways,” said Crum. “If you know a veteran, just thank a veteran. Thank them for their service. Appreciate what they do.”

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