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The Daily Tar Heel

ROTC event will honor UNC, U.S. veterans

The ROTC color guard stands ready near Memorial Hall before the commencement of the Veterans Day ceremony in 2013.

The ROTC color guard stands ready near Memorial Hall before the commencement of the Veterans Day ceremony in 2013.

Captain Jared Miller, professor of military science, said anyone is welcome at the event. 

“Veterans Day is an important day we use to recognize veterans not only from UNC, but across the country,” Miller said.

Sophomore peace, war and defense major Henry Farmer helped organize the event. He said the ceremony will honor the 715 UNC alumni who have died in combat since the War of 1812 as well as veterans everywhere.

At the event, the five branches of the military — Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps — will each play their songs, Miller said.

UNC School of Medicine professor Bruce Cairns, who served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy from 1986 to 2005 before he came to UNC, said he is honored to be a featured speaker at the event.

Cairns said he plans to talk about how UNC can serve veterans as a public University. He said specific programs like UNC Core, which gives higher education opportunities to veterans and active duty service members, and people like UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School professor Bob Connolly, who donated 14 tons in care packages between 2005 and 2013, have helped veterans.

Cairns said he visited Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2008 during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to see if UNC could offer any help.

“It’s the center of the Special Forces universe,” he said. “It’s where all of the Special Forces medics are trained.”

Cairns said the medics wanted their Special Forces medics to have the most advanced techniques, and requested specialized training in areas like burns, surgery and trauma from UNC Hospitals. He said UNC Hospitals has trained more than 60 Special Forces medics since then.

Cairns said UNC created its Physician Assistant Studies with Special Forces medics veterans in mind.

“Many of these people are from North Carolina or call North Carolina home, and they might be transitioning out of the military and they want to be able to serve their country in a different capacity — they want to be able to be a health care provider,” he said.

Cairns said veterans, who often struggle with post traumatic stress disorder or financial issues, should be supported.

“We need to remember the history of our nation and the people who have fought and defended our freedoms and our liberties, and that we all bear some responsibility to support those who have sacrificed so much,” he said.

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