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.”

Red Cross Services to Armed Forces Hits Close to Home

I work for the Lakeland Chapter and we have a son deployed in Afghanistan.  safTim is in the 82nd Army Airborne.  Below is an article from his company’s newsletter. Tim was deployed in August and we have already used the Red Cross Support for Armed Forces to communicate a death in our family.  Thank you to the Red Cross for providing this vital service – and for all the support you give to us. 

On this Veterans Day, we thank and salute our veterans and all of our members of the military serving today!  Thank you for your patriotism, service and devotion to our country!

Mauree and Neil Childress

Letter from:  1LT Tim Dill, 2nd

 

Platoon Leader, Alpha Company

Greetings! This is 2nd Platoon’s first choice to reach back to our loved ones through this newsletter. Let us assure you that we are doing well, and making the best out of every situation that we have encountered. Our time is largely absorbed with our focus on training the Afghan National Army (ANA) to more operate in their country and on interacting with and assessing the local populace.

We sought to integrate with the ANA immediately upon our arrival in Zabul Province. Our timelines are jointly planned, and include such tasks as heavy weapons training, marksmanship, weapons maintenance, physical training, and first aid. Training classes are designed by 2nd PLT’s well-qualified NCOs, who have proved insightful and knowledgeable in their subject areas. Much of the instruction is carried out by our junior Paratroopers, with guidance from their team leaders and squad leaders. This is a great chance for them to pass on the numerous skills that the Army has given them, preparing them for future leadership roles in and out of the Army.

All of these tasks, as well as our location, bring with them some inherent difficulties in communication back to the States. Know that we all miss our loved ones very much, and look forward to the times when we are able to communicate with you. Every letter, package, and phone call encourages us more than we can express, and we all thank you so much for thinking of us during this time.

The ANA has been very appreciative of the helpful training that we have provided them. Thanks to the Paratroopers of 2nd Platoon, everyday they are more qualified to operate in their local environment and face its unique challenges

We are constantly meeting our neighboring villagers as well. Almost daily we arrange joint meetings between our Paratroopers, ANA leaders, and village elders. We discuss the difficulties facing the populace as well as possible solutions over “chai,” the local tea. Our Paratroopers are well received in all villages, and have skillfully adapted to putting forth a positive image while alertly maintaining security.