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Office of the Provost

November 6, 2017

Honoring and supporting our veterans

Jerry Baldasty

Throughout UW history, thousands of students, alums, faculty and staff have served our country through the armed forces. Memorials dot our campus, reminding us of those who served – and those who gave everything.

But memorials are just part of what we to do to honor and support veterans. As a university, we must ensure that service members and returning veterans, and their dependents, have the support they need to feel welcome – and successful.

More than 40 UW programs serve veterans and active duty military, including the Office of Veteran Student Life on the Seattle campus that provides support services, resources and community. The Veterans Education Benefits Office helps current service members, veterans and their dependents access financial aid and educational benefits.

Read about a few UW graduates who have devoted their careers to telling the stories of combat and veterans.

Alex Quade (BA, Communication, Political Science, 1992), a freelance combat reporter for almost two decades, covers U.S. Special Operations Forces on combat missions. She is the only reporter, male or female, who has embedded long-term with these elite secretive units, spending months at a time in the field, using a hand-held video camera and notepad to capture stories about combat. Her stories run on CNN and other TV news outlets, and in The New York Times.

 Julia Sears (BA, Drama, 2012) and Maggie Moore (BA, International Studies, 2012) are friends and former UW roommates who recently collaborated with female veterans on a play, Catching Bullets, about the first mixed-gender combat unit. The play, which premiered in NYC this summer, was inspired by the 2015 announcement that all combat jobs would now be open to women.

UW Bothell and UW Tacoma each has an office to support veterans, and both campuses have been designated Veteran-Friendly campuses by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

ray emory.jpg

Raymond Emory as a young serviceman.

This time of year, I am reminded that when veterans leave the military, they don’t stop serving our country. That is certainly the case with Raymond Emory, a 1952 UW graduate. Not only did Mr. Emory serve in combat during Pearl Harbor, he has spent the past 30 years ensuring that unknown soldiers are identified and remembered for their service. You may read his story in Columns Magazine.

This Saturday, I will have the privilege of awarding Mr. Emory with the Distinguished Alumni Veteran Award, which honors a UW alumnus and veteran who has made a positive impact on the world.

I invite you to join me at the Veterans Day Ceremony, beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Medal of Honor Memorial, the circular memorial located between Parrington Hall and Kane Hall. A reception follows at 11:30 a.m. in the Walker-Ames Room of Kane Hall.