Veterans Week Nov. 8-10

Week includes blend of reflective and celebratory events designed to raise awareness of veterans' issues and recognize their service.

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 25, 2010) – USF will honor the members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including USF student veterans, by hosting three days of special programming prior to Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The special salute will culminate on Wednesday, Nov. 10 with a Veteran's Day Ceremony featuring a precision landing on campus by the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team, the Para-Commandos, (weather permitting) and keynote address by Lieutenant General Martin R. Steele, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.).

The inaugural Veterans Week will begin on Monday, Nov. 8 with a presentation of Into the Fire by international touring company Had to Be Productions. Based on true life testimonies, Into the Fire is a powerful two-person play that examines the struggles of returning veterans with disabilities and combat-related trauma as they integrate into their families, communities, educational institutions and the workforce. The free performance is open to the public and will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center (room 2708).

A panel discussion featuring USF student veterans will take place immediately following the presentation. The student veterans – including veterans who suffered severe battle injuries, a single mother who was deployed to Iraq, and a vet who conducted humanitarian work during three tours of duty – will share their personal experiences with the audience.

To inspire friendly competition among USF departments and student organizations, the USF Student Veterans Association will host a chili cook-off on Tuesday, Nov. 9. The cook-off will take place from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. in the Student Services Building Breezeway. Prizes will be awarded for the top five recipes, and chili samples will be available.

At the same time in the breezeway, a Veteran's Expo will offer a variety of health and benefits-related services, as well as enrollment assistance in the VA Health System for any veteran on campus.

The highlight of the week's programming will be the Veteran's Day Ceremony that will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 10 in the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater. Prior to the start of the formal program at 11 a.m., the SOCOM Parachute Team from MacDill Air Force Base will stage a precision landing in the Martin Luther King Plaza west lawn at approximately 10:45 a.m. The ceremony will include remarks by Lt. Gen. Steele, USF President Judy Genshaft and the executive director of USF's Joint Military Leadership Center Maj. Gen. Luis Visot. The public is invited and refreshments will be served following the program.

“USF has a long and strong history of serving members of the armed forces and is recognized nationally as a veteran-friendly campus,” said Larry Braue, director of USF's Office of Veterans Services. “Veterans Day provides an ideal opportunity to continue to raise awareness and help educate members of the USF community and the public about the issues veterans face, as well as to recognize and thank them for their service.”

Media contact: Lara Wade, 813-974-9060.