How fitting it is that we celebrate Veterans Day shortly after Election Day. Were it not for the patriots who have served in the United States Armed Forces, we would have no elections; we would have no democracy; we would have no One Nation Under God. So today, as that solemn wreath-laying ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery, let us all consider how we can honor and thank our precious veterans.
Among the nation’s 18 million living veterans, we find many within the Palm Beach Atlantic University community, so we can start by paying tribute to staff and faculty who have served. And PBA alumni across the years also have served, and continue to serve. Here are just a few examples:
— Army Public Affairs Specialist Temos Wooten ’01 is deployed on a combat tour in the Middle East. He also has served in the U.S., Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, and will head to Africa in July 2021.
— In July Ensign Dana Jones ’18 graduated flight school and “winged” as a Naval flight officer.
— Lt. j.g. Caleb Nicholson ’17 earned his Navy warfare pin and now flies the amazing V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.
At Palm Beach Atlantic we’re proud to have had a part in educating those who went on to serve their country, and we also cherish the opportunity to serve returning veterans. For example, Lucson Pierre served a seven-year tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, and is now a senior computer science major here.
Norman “Norm” Hooten served a distinguished career in the Army’s Special Forces, retired and came to the Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy to earn his doctorate in pharmacy. He then went to work as a clinical pharmacy specialist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he helps veterans who are victims of the opioid epidemic.
Other PBA grads in pharmacy and nursing also minister to veterans in VA hospitals. These VA medical professionals understand much better than most of us what tremendous sacrifices veterans have made as they paid for us the price of freedom.
Let’s think about the military veterans within our circles of influence. We can gain greater understanding and appreciation for them if we reach out and say, “Tell me about your time in the military. What was it like?” Upon hearing their stories, without a doubt we respond: “Thank you for your service. God bless you.”
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn
President, Palm Beach Atlantic University
Photo 1: Army Public Affairs Specialist Temos Wooten '01 is deployed on a combat tour.
Photo 2: Ensign Dana Jones '18 is a Naval flight officer.
Photo 3: Lt. j.g. Caleb Nicholson ’17 earned his Navy warfare pin and now flies the amazing V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.
Photo 4: Lucson Pierre served a seven-year tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, and is now a senior computer science major.
Photo 5: Norman "Norm" Hooten served a distinguished career in the Army's Special Forces.