'Berg business dean: Commit to honor veterans' sacrifice daily
On the eve of Veterans Day, Heidelberg’s School of Business Dean, Dr. Anne Anderson – a West Point graduate and a former officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – challenged the campus community and Tiffin residents to commit to live daily to honor the sacrifice made by those who have fought, and in many cases, died, for the freedoms we enjoy.
Anne was the keynote speaker for Heidelberg’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony, organized and emceed by members of the Student Senate.
In her remarks, Anne said that while she was one of the lucky ones who survived and made it home, military service left a permanent impression on her. “While at West Point, I learned the importance of duty and honor. I learned the value of being mission-focused and the importance of being accountable for my choices,” she said.
But it wasn’t until she graduated and started her career as an officer in the Corps of Engineers that she truly understood the sacrifices that enlisted men and women and their families have been asked to make over the years. On a deployment to Honduras, Anne had the honor to lead and join her platoon in building an orphanage. “I can’t even describe how rewarding that experience was,” she said. “It was during this time that I started to fully understand the importance of leading by example and how critical it is to clearly communicate expectations.” She has incorporated those guiding values into her life and career.
Those values hit home more impactfully four years later when Anne found herself in the deserts of Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield, preparing for Desert Storm. “Leading young men and women who know you are on the edge of the start of a war is humbling,” she recalled. “They were ready to fight for the freedoms of others – willing to sacrifice whatever was necessary and volunteering to do so without hesitation.”
The same is true for all veterans who have served and paid the ultimate sacrifice, current active duty military, and those who will serve in the future. In the past four-plus decades, more than 60,000 active-duty soldiers have lost their lives – some in combat, but sadly, more than 20 percent due to suicide.
“Those who have never served,” Anne said, “will never truly understand the toll military service takes on those who serve and their families. There are many unseen wounds and battle scars.”
This is why she issued the challenge to honor the service and sacrifice of all military personnel, and the essence of why the campus community and indeed, the nation, observes Veterans Day.
A campus observation
'Berg President Rob Huntington welcomed everyone to the ceremony, following the Presentation of the Colors by the United Veterans Council, the singing of the National Anthem by senior Jayce Porter and the singing of Lift Every Voice by junior Zaria Keys.
“We are surrounded by veterans. That’s why we’re here,” Rob said. Heidelberg shares its Founders Day (November 11, 1850) with Veterans Day – a coincidence that isn’t lost on the Berg community. As Heidelberg embarks on its 174th year, it’s an appropriate time to appreciate the “service and safeguards that our country that have enabled us to exist that long,” Rob said.
“We pause on this day (to express gratitude) to the over 41 million people who have become veterans since the founding of our country,” he added. “Now, more than 18.5 million veterans live in our country. … We have a deep respect and sincere gratitude to those 18.5 million among us for their love of country and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
Student Senators Siera Octaviano and Taylor Ratliff also participated in the ceremony, which was concluded by Nik McAvoy, a student-athlete and president of Heidelberg’s new Student Military Support Alliance.