Meredith College held its annual Honoring Women Veterans event on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, in Jones Chapel.
The keynote speaker is Patricia Harris, a retired Army veteran who is the founder and CEO of Women Veterans Support Services, Inc.
“It was for the love of my country that I stepped forward,” said Harris about her military service. “I am here because of the women who went before me.”
Harris spoke about women veterans throughout U.S. history, some of whom disguised their gender in order to serve before women were allowed to enlist. Harris said patriotism, educational opportunities, and economic reasons are among the motivations for modern women to join the military.
As founder of Women Veterans Support Services, Inc., Harris helps veterans transition to civilian life after their service ends.
“The challenges veterans face are the war we continue to fight at home,” Harris said. Her organization, which specializes in crisis management for homeless and in-crisis women veterans, connects veterans with needed resources.
Harris asked all veterans present to stand for recognition. The service also included a medley of service hymns and ended with a presentation by the Enloe High School U.S. Army JROTC Drill/Exhibition Team.
In honor of Veterans Day, Meredith College is also sponsoring two service projects during the week.
The Holiday Mail for Heroes Program through the Red Cross provides holiday greetings to service members. The Meredith community can write holiday cards that will be given to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans, and military families. Blank cards and other supplies will be available in Cate Center all week.
Meredith College will also sponsor “Angel Giving” – a way for the community to give gifts to children of homeless families, with the focus on gifts for children of local homeless women veterans. The Honoring Women Veterans planning committee will set up displays in Cate Center and Johnson Hall Rotunda with cards listing items needed for children. The committee encourages Meredith community members to consider picking up a card with a gift listed on it, purchase the gift, and then bring the unwrapped item to the Dean of Students Office by Tuesday, December 1.
Meredith College has been recognized as a strong choice for veterans. U.S. News & World Report calls Meredith the #4 Best College for Veterans in the South. This list, which includes institutions certified for the GI Bill and that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, identifies schools that offer benefits that make college more affordable for veterans and active duty military. Learn more about admission to Meredith