Maine Memo — Serving and Honoring Those Who Served

Dear members of the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias communities,

Among the many things I am grateful for in our return this fall are the opportunities we have to be together as a community of students, faculty and staff who come from diverse and rich backgrounds and experiences. Veterans Week events provide the chance to focus our attention and extend our appreciation to those who have served and are serving our nation in the U.S. armed forces.

Veterans Week 2021 began at the University of Maine with Military Appreciation Day at the Black Bears’ last home football game of the season this past Saturday. Military personnel, veterans and their families were welcomed to Alfond Stadium and received public recognition of their service.

At halftime, UMaine also welcomed the newest members of the Black Bear Battalion following their oath of office into the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps. This event formally begins their journey to commission as officers in the United States Army. More than 90 cadets are currently a part of UMaine’s 150-year legacy of military training.

It was a pleasure to participate in the ceremony and I thank Lt. Col. Steven Veves and all of our cadets for their leadership, service to our community and commitment to our nation.

The UMaine Veterans Education and Transition Services Center team provides support and builds community throughout the year at UMaine for the 219 veterans and active duty service members, including reservists and National Guard members learning with us this fall. We are pleased to count among our student population in Machias another seven veterans, Guard members and reservists.

Thank you to VETS Center lead Tony Llerena and the Student Veterans Office staff, as well as their colleagues in the campus ROTC and NROTC units for their leadership and vision in organizing the Veterans Week events on campus, which included a flag ceremony and a panel discussion focused on the UMaine student veteran experience.

As we observe Veterans Day with a day away from work and classes for many, thanks to all our service members and veterans, including our students, faculty and staff, for their contributions to our community and service to our nation.

Joan Ferrini-Mundy