On November 9, the Medical Education Campus (MEC) hosted a Veterans Day Luncheon in honor of veterans, dependents and active duty members who served in the United States Armed Forces. Several students, faculty and staff participated in the program sponsored by the MEC’s Office of Military and Veterans Services.
Lt. Col. Robert Hunt was the guest speaker for the event. With 24 years of military service as a pilot, Hunt flew fighter and Learjets during the Vietnam War. After his career in the military, he served as program director for operations, training, safety and security for the Comcast Corporation. Later, he became the vice president of operations for a nonprofit corporation focused on fostering a network of support groups for military and veteran members, spouses and dependents. Currently, Hunt works as co-chair of a prison re-entry program designed to assist young men and women in Maryland.
Hunt reflected on his experiences of serving as a pilot in the United States Air Force. He challenged all in attendance to think about the meaning of service and how to cope with life after the military.
“As military members, we understand the purpose of sacrifice and service,” said Hunt. “Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging, especially when finding employment. Use your military experience to help propel your goals, dreams and ambitions and mark the path that you want. The military is like a family that shares a lifetime bond and experiences. Stay connected with your family and remember there are things and people who will influence your life.”
Reflections from other veteran attendees were expressed along with shared words of gratitude from NOVA faculty and students. The Campus has a broad student military community, including 48 active duty students, 85 dependents, 18 veterans and 173 military spouses. A moment of silence was observed for those who have given their lives to serve their country.
“As military members, we have a duty as citizens to support our country and give back to our community,” Hunt added. “Service is something that we should all take upon our shoulders as an obligation within our community that has helped us.”