The Emory & Henry College community paused for a moment on Veterans Day to say a word of thanks to the nearly 3 million military veterans who have served their country.
Featured speakers at the annual event included Dr. Julia Vanover, a captain with the United States Air Force, and Lewis H. “Bucky” Burruss (’65), a retired colonel with the United States Army.
Vanover is a licensed clinical social worker with the United States Air Force (USAF). She provides treatment to military members and their families for mental illness, grief, relationship problems, parenting, alcohol and drug concerns, and legal and career issues. She advises commanders on the health and well-being of their troops and provides preventative programs to the military community. Vanover served Emory & Henry for two years as a therapist in the Powell Resource Center.
Vanover, who joined the USAF just 10 days after her 42nd birthday, is committed to helping those who have suffered trauma in their lives. She strives to send the message to current and former military members that post-trauma therapy is now efficient and can help speed up the recovery process.
“When you suffer these tragedies that shock you to the bone, you have to take the time to take care of yourself,” said Vanover. “Many believe that relief takes years, but in reality it can be closer to two or three months.”
Burruss was commissioned by the Army in 1966, volunteered for the Special Forces and served with that group until late 1970. He earned the rank of captain while serving two combat tours in Vietnam with the Special Forces' country-wide reaction force, the Mobile Strike Force. Burruss is one of the most decorated Emory & Henry alumni, having been awarded the Silver Star, four Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, and three Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry.
Burruss reminded the crowd of faculty, staff, students, and visitors to never forget that United States is a country at war and sacrifices are still being made on a daily basis by men and women in uniform who have made an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.
“There is nothing glorious about war, but something exists deep inside each man and woman who puts on the uniform,and each is willing to pay the ultimate price for the freedom of our nation,” said Burruss.
E&H student Aaron Gillespie concluded the ceremony from the balcony of the Memorial Chapel with the playing of “Taps.”
In 2009, Emory & Henry College was named one of the top “military friendly” schools in the nation by G.I. Jobs.
The event was sponsored by the Powell Resource Center Counseling Services, the E&H Student Government Association, and Higher Ground.