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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Health Care celebrates veterans, earns freedom award

“We will be there for you. You just be there for us.”

Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were honored Tuesday at UNC Medical Center’s fourth annual Veterans Day event.

Jadick discussed his active service as a physician in the Iraq war. Jadick is a urologist in Georgia and is the most decorated Iraq war doctor to date.

Jadick compared his sergeant’s mantra to the sense of camaraderie found at UNC Health Care.

“Our veterans have been there for us, and today I am humbled and glad to salute all of you at UNC Health Care, for the way that you are now there for our vets,” he said.

“Every veteran needs support, every veteran merits our help.”

The event, which took place in the N.C. Memorial Hospital at UNC Hospitals, is held each year to recognize those who served or are serving in the armed forces.

Other speakers at the event included U.S. Rep. David Price D-N.C., and Amy Alger, another Iraq war veteran who now works in the hospitals at UNC.

“Each time I’m left in awe of those who help mark this occasion,” said Tom Maltais, assistant director of external affairs at UNC School of Medicine.

Price, who spoke first, discussed his belief in the significance of honoring veterans.

“It is very important to gather as we’re doing to mark this Veterans Day and to celebrate our shared history as a nation and understand those who have sacrificed so much to make this possible,” he said.

The event also marked UNC Health Care receiving the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from the Department of Defense.

Alger introduced the prestigious freedom award. It is the highest recognition offered to employers to honor their treatment of employees who have served or are serving in the military.

Jadick discussed his experiences overseas as a physician and his time at Fallujah, a city in Iraq, connecting it back to the importance of not just veterans, but their families as well.

Jadick earned a Bronze Star — the fourth highest honor the military can offer — after being credited for saving the lives of 30 Marines in the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004.

“When we talk about veterans, we don’t just talk about them,” Jadick said.

“We talk about their families. Those people who stay at home and don’t turn the TV on, because they don’t want their kids to see the news.”

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