Notes of thanks from students are always welcome and moving, but this one really hit home for me. It reminds me that our university serves many student constituencies, and that each comes with its own set of special challenges and commitments. When you read the letter I received from Member of the graduating class of 2014 Dennis E. Lee, HM1 (AW) USN (RET), I think you will see why this one holds a special place for me. The gratitude we owe our veterans is enormous, and we are privileged to assist them along their way in life. Please take a moment to read his thanks and also his challenge to us as citizens and members of the U of M community.
M. David Rudd, President
On behalf of the entire veteran population on every campus, I want to thank the faculty and staff for the constant effort to ensure our special paperwork and needs are met, ensuring us a wonderful experience at University of Memphis. Your assistance was always quick and on point and directly aimed at solving any problems. Your support was a huge factor in our graduation or continued enrollment.
While the faculty and staff went about fixing and tracking our paperwork for us we could turn to our jobs as students without worry. For the many times we had to trust others to have our back, while serving, it was a nice feeling to know that same situation happen here as well.
To our fellow alumni and students, we appreciate the warmth and welcome you give each one of us. Your respect and appreciation for our service was, for me, very uplifting.
Being thanked for our service makes us feel somewhat humbled to be seen as heroes or praised in such ways. For us, we simply see our service as a job we did. I certainly don't think I'm a hero. Crazy for working a flight deck? Maybe, but hero? That’s some one else. I personally thank you and I'm sure other veterans will agree that it is nice to be appreciated for it.
Now for those of you reading this email- please know that the one thing any veteran wants more than any medal, or recognition is very simple. We want you to never take any action that makes our service, our sacrifices and the sacrifices of our families to be not worth it. In short, go and be productive members of society. Your words of thanks are easy; the action I request may be hard at times. Actions prove the words. Show us, that our efforts are, and were, worth every missed birth, birthday, first steps, graduations, first tooth lost, anniversaries and all the holidays.
As I adjust to a life away from the life of a student, I want to charge you all with one last thing. I urge you all to take the time to appreciate where you are and treat each other respectfully.
Again thank you everyone for the best you've given to my fellow veterans and myself.
Dennis E Lee
HM1 (AW) USN (RET)
Class of 2014