More than 130 area veterans and their guests were honored Friday at the 17th-annual Lindsey Wilson College Veterans Appreciation Luncheon held in the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center.
Around two dozen LWC students were in attendance to greet, serve and assist the veterans and their families during the luncheon. The LWC nursing program was also on-hand to welcome the veterans to campus.
LWC Dean of Students Chris Schmidt says the annual event to honor local veterans has become a highlight at LWC.
“This has become one of the best days we have on campus,” said Schmidt, who is responsible for organizing the annual event which began in 2003. “We cannot thank these men and women enough for their service and commitment to our country and what they continue to do to serve their communities.”
Friday’s guest speaker was Kentucky VFW State Commander Bruce Unland who served the U.S. Army from 1965-1971 and completed two tours of duty in Vietnam. Unland is the recipient of three purple hearts and a bronze star with oak leaf cluster. He was honorably discharged from service in 1971 with the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant
Unland spoke about leadership lessons based on the unassuming life of WWII U.S. Army veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Private William Crawford.
“Everyone deserves respect,” said Unland from Madisonville, Ky. “Take the time to know people and be careful of labels. Crawford was labeled a janitor, and until his achievements were discovered by the students of the academy, no one noticed him.”
According to Unland, Private Crawford spent his days after retirement working as a custodian at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
“Anyone can be a hero, Mr. Crawford’s achievements in WWII certainly met anyone’s standard of a hero. Private Bill Crawford didn’t pursue glory, he did his duty and then swept floors for a living. No job is beneath a leader. If Crawford, a Medal of Honor recipient could clean lavatories and then smile, so can the rest of us. ”