UM-Flint pays tribute to armed forces - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

UM-Flint pays tribute to armed forces

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(11/12/12) - Mid-Michigan honored those who served in our nation's military on the observance of Veterans Day.

At the University of Michigan Flint, tribute was paid to our armed forces during a special ceremony.

Every year, the UM-Flint honors our nation's military veterans with patriotic songs and the traditional folding of the American flag.

"For our country, for you and I to be here, the rights and liberties that we have to be able to come to a university when we want to get a higher education, equal opportunity for everyone, and that's what these guys do for us every day," said Deedee Hurley, of Flint.

Veterans Day reminds Chris Waters of her late father, who served many years ago.

"I've been a supportive our vets are very long time. My dad fought in WWII. To me, he represents any of those boys who went and still go. I appreciate their service," she said.

Veterans Day celebrates soldiers like Dallas Mossman. The 84-year-old spent two years in a North Korean POW camp.

"There would be no South Korea if it wasn't for the United States," he said. "This country is the most wonderful country because of the veterans. It wouldn't be this country if it wasn't for the veterans.

His son also served in the Army. He hopes the country's military is remembered throughout the year, not just for one day.

"I was never at risk, I can't imagine what my father suffered and it's amazing that he survived," said Dallas Mossman, Jr, U.S. Army Veteran. "Just an understanding of the sacrifice that people make through history. We're losing WWII veterans every day, Korean war veterans every day and it's sad that there's not more importance put on sacrifices that they made."

UM-Flint also announced, Monday, a new way it's going to help veterans get the help they need when they return home.

The school has expanded its student veteran resource center inside the University Pavilion, and now all the proceeds from a UM-Flint license plate will be used for veteran scholarships.

"This has become like a second home to me," said  28-year-old Aaron Ayala, of Durand. "It's a very warm and welcoming place."

The disabled vet found himself here when he needed extra help following his discharge from the Army.

"Help us financially relieve some of the burden off of us that we otherwise would not be able to take care of," he said. "This kind of stuff really hits my heart."

UM-Flint re-dedicated the expanded center Monday. Its mission is to help veterans and their families.

"We work with students when they start looking at colleges, until they graduate, and even after," said Michelle Virden, Veteran Services Coordinator. "If you can think about it, we will work with them on it."

Virden takes a great deal of pride in her work.

"When we started back in 2009, we never imagined it would be this much, that it would expand this quickly, but the need was quicker than what we thought it would be," she said.

The school is also providing an opportunity for others to support our Veterans. The proceeds collected from the UM-Flint license plates will go directly to student veteran scholarships

"Many student veterans do get GI Bill benefits, but they don't always get 100 percent tuition or other kinds of support for books, depending on what kind of service they did, so this is an opportunity to provide some great support for them," said UM-Flint chancellor Ruth Person.

At this point, the chancellor says the revenue from the plates should cover four student scholarships.

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