Northwestern joins 3-year effort honoring Vietnam veterans

Rob Karwath | November 21, 2016

The nationwide project with local connections is an extension of the university’s commitment to veterans on campus and in the community.

Reflecting its commitment to veterans on campus and in the community, Northwestern Health Sciences University will participate in a three-year effort to honor veterans who served in the Vietnam War era.

Plans for the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partnership honoring Vietnam-era veterans were unveiled earlier this month at a veterans’ appreciation lunch and program at Creekside Community Center in Bloomington, sponsored by Northwestern and American Legion Post 550.

The three-year program to honor Vietnam-era veterans is a significant nationwide effort to recognize their service as well as to show appreciation to veterans from all eras.

“This United States Defense Department initiative involves over 8,000 communities, businesses and organizations across the country, and Northwestern is proud to be involved within our local community,” said university President and CEO Chris Cassirer.

He added: “Because we have a new generation of veterans at Northwestern, some of whom continue to be deployed, and we’ve recently been recognized as a Military Friendly university, our involvement seemed like a logical community connection.”

The Nov. 10 program at Creekside was emceed by Dr. Cassirer, and students from Bloomington’s Kennedy High School sang the National Anthem. With aprons on, a group of faculty, staff and students from Northwestern served lunch and helped wash dishes following the event.

Dignitaries attending the event included Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead, who introduced U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She spoke about her work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of military veterans and their families.

The event keynote speaker was Bob Jasperson who flew 115 missions over both South and North Vietnam in 1972. A highly decorated Air Force pilot, Jasperson was awarded the Silver Star for shooting down a MiG-21 near Hanoi.

“We are all-in for this three-year project, and I have asked Dr. Chuck Sawyer to join me on the commemorative partnership committee,” Dr. Cassirer said. “We have offered our ongoing help in other ways and also have a few ideas for events we might host on our campus.”

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