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UTM to host Veterans Week

MARTIN, Tenn. – Col. David A. Strauss (ret.), an Army soldier with 39 years of service and an alumnus of the University of Tennessee at Martin, will be the guest speaker at the university’s Veterans Day ceremony to be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at Watkins Auditorium in the Boling University Center.

Strauss enlisted in the Army in 1983 as a military intelligence voice interceptor. After serving seven years, he received a Green to Gold scholarship and attended UT Martin, receiving the commission as a lieutenant of infantry in 1993.

Strauss was most recently assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Upon promotion to major in 2004, he was selected to become a civil affairs officer, which he remained until his retirement in 2022.

Strauss took part in Operation: Just Cause in Panama in 1989, Operation: Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard in Bosnia in 1996, Operation: Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2002, Operation: Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and again in 2006, and Operation: Unified Response in Haiti in 2010.

Strauss’ awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

Strauss graduated from UT Martin with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and Spanish. He also earned a master of military arts and science degree in theater operations from the Command and General Staff College and a master of arts in national security from the National Defense University of Pakistan.

The program will include welcoming remarks from UTM Chancellor Dr. Yancy Freeman. The master of ceremonies for the program will be Capt. Justin Taylor.

The Veterans Day ceremony will be one feature of UT Martin’s Veterans Week activities for the week of Nov. 6-11. Here is a look at the day-by-day activities scheduled for that week. All events are open to the public.

Monday, Nov. 6

The inaugural 5K walk and run event with the campus Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) will be held at 6 a.m. The 5K will begin at the ROTC Building link-up at Hardy M. Graham Stadium. (Five kilometers is the same as 3.1 miles.)

Tuesday, Nov. 7

The third annual W.D. “Bill” Manning Tennessee Veterans Home visit will take place at 1:30 p.m. at 2865 E. Main St. in Humboldt. UTM Veterans Services and the Skyhawk Battalion ROTC cadets will be in attendance and bring cake.

Wednesday, Nov. 8

The third annual Veterans Walk will begin at the Boling University Center at noon. The walk will go to the Capt. Brent Morel Memorial Bridge on University Street and will end at Gooch Hall, where refreshments will be available.

Also on Wednesday, the third annual Veterans Bowl flag football game will take place at 6 p.m. at the football field near the Elam Center. The game features the veterans against the cadets.

Thursday, Nov. 9

The Army Band will perform in the UTM band room at 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 11

Fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations are invited to take part in the Veterans Day parade. Participants in the parade will gather at 9 a.m. in the Business Administration Building parking lot on Lovelace Avenue. The parade will begin there at 10 a.m., go down University Street and end at the Martin Public Library.

A 30-minute Veterans Day program will take place at the end of the parade at the stage adjacent to the library. The program will feature World War II veteran Robert Chappell and a missing man table to honor veterans who did not return from service.

Immediately following that program, American Legion Post 55 will host a chili and coffee luncheon at its post at 221 Central Ave. in Martin. There is no cost for the meal.

The UT Martin Skyhawks will take part in the Military Appreciation football game at 2 p.m. Saturday against conference rival Southeast Missouri.

On Nov. 14 and 15, UT Martin will partner with Lifeline Blood Services

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