Kansas State University selected as partner in commemorating Vietnam War's 50th anniversary
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014
MANHATTAN — The U.S. Department of Defense has selected Kansas State University to serve as a national commemorative partner for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
The selection will be officially announced at the football game between Kansas State and Texas Tech on Saturday, Oct. 4. The on-field presentation will include Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, First Infantry Division and Fort Riley commanding general. In recognition of its soldiers and the university's partnership with Fort Riley, it will be Fort Riley Day at the game.
For the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, the U.S. will commemorate the war with events from 2015-2017. Kansas State University is one of the few academic institutions invited to participate in anniversary events.
"Kansas State University is honored to serve in this capacity to commemorate the anniversary of the Vietnam War," said Kirk Schulz, university president. "We will use our 150-year military tradition as well as a decade of recent experience serving our nation's military to promote awareness, inform the current generation and honor those whose lives were effected most by this conflict."
Schulz and retired Army Lt. Col. Art DeGroat, the university's executive director of military and veterans affairs, have appointed retired Col. Mike McDermott, Manhattan, as chairman of the task force. He will develop and host a series of commemorative programs honoring the service and sacrifices of those who served in and out of uniform during the Vietnam War.
McDermott was an infantry solider and served four tours with American and Vietnamese paratroop units during the Vietnam War. He is a Purple Heart recipient and one of the most highly decorated soldiers of that war.
"It is an honor to participate in this commemoration that honors the sacrifice of the Americans who served during that troubled time in America's history," McDermott said. "An important part of their legacy includes the many contributions that Vietnam veterans made when they came home, picking up the threads of their lives and becoming solid citizens in their communities. Kansas State University, with its long history of training officers and assisting veterans, provides an ideal setting to honor all who serve our nation."