The Herald-Times

For veterans

Ivy Tech to host events in honor of veterans
By John Tilford Guest columnist
July 30, 2011

John Whikehart, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus, wants Ivy Tech to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with local veterans. Veterans of World War II and the Korean War who are willing and able to participate should contact Ivy Tech. First priority is for World War II veterans because they are leaving us at such a high rate. Please read on.

In the coming academic year, Ivy Tech will host a series of events honoring veterans. There will be ceremonies for Veterans Day, Memorial Day and on other occasions to be organized and announced as needed to facilitate a two-way relationship between the students and local veterans: Ivy Tech provides recognition, oral history recording and appreciative audiences. The veterans provide their cooperation, answer questions regarding their experiences and tell their stories before they are lost to posterity. Interactions will range in scope from one veteran to one student, to a small group, to an entire classroom, to Lamkin Hall (auditorium). There is no better “win-win” than this.

In an era wherein so many of the personal sacrifices of our veterans have been omitted from “politically correct” history books, where most institutions of higher learning have deleted military history from their curricula as “irrelevant,” our own Ivy Tech stands like — like what? The 101st at Bastogne? The 1st Mar Division at the Chosin? How will young people really understand these comparisons without hearing, first hand, from those who held up their right hands and swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic what it was like to protect freedom?

My life was changed for the better by interviews with veterans from World War I and later wars. I treasure my memories of those men and women and strive to conduct myself in a manner to honor them and their dedication. The next generation of students should have the opportunity for similar contacts.

Ivy Tech staff members are now planning to implement Chancellor Whikehart’s vision, but it all starts with the “raw material” — the veterans. If you are a WWII or Korean War veteran who would help educate the students of Ivy Tech Community College, please call Kimberly Bloodgood at 812-330-6012 or email kwagner23 and leave your name, address, contact telephone number, and email address if you have one. Kim is a veteran and the Veterans Affairs coordinator for Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus.

John W. Tilford is founder and president of Hoosier Honor Flight Inc.

Copyright: 2011