By Jenelle Pierce
UTC has over 215 student veterans, all of which had to make sacrifices in order to be able to serve the country in various different ways. In order to honor these students, and all veterans, UTC hosts an annual Veteran’s Day Luncheon.
Linda Hinkle, Coordinator for Veteran Students Services at UTC, was able to speak to the importance of events like these at UTC.
“I’m a veteran myself, so I can speak to it personally and as an advocate. It’s as simple as a smile, or a ‘thank you for your service’, and the lunch is our way of saying thank you to Chattanooga’s veterans, whether they be students, faculty, staff, or community members,” Hinkle said.
During this year’s Veteran’s Day Luncheon on November 11, the Quilt of Valor was presented to Veteran Chris Weiss. Weiss was invited to the lunch as a guest, but he was surprised with the presence of his parents, wife, and children.
As a young man, Weiss served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard. Years later, he lost his right arm to cancer. Now, Weiss is a valued part of the UTC family, where he works as a maintenance supervisor for housing and resident life.
Also at the event, the recipient of the Sgt. David Alex Stephens Memorial Scholarship Fund was named. The award is given to a qualifying student who was honorably discharged from the military. This year, the award went to Trevor Payton, a computer science major who served in the U.S. Army.
Major General (ret) William B. Raines Jr. Raines, guest speaker of the Veteran’s Day luncheon, retired after 32 years of service in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserves. He has received numerous awards, including the Defense Superior Service Metal and the Legion of Merit Oak, and has held many strategic and leadership positions in addition to his active duty assignments in Okinawa, Vietnam, and the Fort Bliss and Fort Campbell military bases. He now is the president and founder of The Raines Group, a real-estate group in Chattanooga.
For more information on Veterans of UTC, visit utc.edu/veteran-student-services.