Two members of the Arkansas Tech University Hall of Distinction were among the speakers at a Veterans Day luncheon hosted by the Arkansas Tech Office of Veteran Services at Chambers Cafeteria West Dining Room on Friday, Nov. 11.
Steve Womack, a U.S. Army veteran who represents the Third Congressional District of Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives, and retired Major General William Wofford, former adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard, spoke to their fellow veterans in attendance about active and retired military personnel they have met throughout their careers in public service and how those individuals have inspired them.
Wofford recalled meeting a survivor of Iwo Jima named “Lucky,” while Womack told of a quadruple amputee veteran who was part of a presentation to a Congressional committee. That veteran, Brendan Marrocco, was among the first people in the United States to receive a bilateral arm transplant.
“What does it say about your country that men and women are willing to fight for the cause of freedom?” asked Womack. “These are young men and women, heading into the prime of their lives, and they are willing to take those risks. That’s the kind of country worth defending and dying for. That’s the country each of you were willing to serve. That’s a great country.”
Womack is a 1979 graduate of Arkansas Tech and a 2014 inductee into the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction. Wofford earned his Tech degree in 1971 and entered the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction in 2008. Both completed the U.S. Army ROTC program at the university.
Additional Arkansas Tech alumni veterans in attendance and recognized on Friday included: State Rep. Trevor Drown, former Green Beret in the U.S. Army and member of the Army National Guard, Tech Class of 2001; Bill Eaton, retired colonel in the U.S. Army and Arkansas National Guard, Tech Class of 1968; Jeff Holt, former captain in the U.S. Army, Tech Class of 2007; Jon Scheible, former E4 specialist in the U.S. Army, Tech Class of 2004; Lance Fetters, former infantry in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, Tech Class of 2006; and Julio Standridge, former first lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Tech Class of 2014.
Tammy Marcoe, sergeant first class in the U.S. Army National Guard and officer in the Arkansas Tech Department of Public Safety, Joy Leaphart, retired colonel in the U.S. Army, and Capt. Matthew Sweeney, who oversees the U.S. Army ROTC program at Arkansas Tech, were among the other military personnel recognized at the luncheon.
“For all in here who are veterans, thank you,” said Wofford. “This is a great country. We have some challenges, but it’s still the greatest country in the world. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t enjoy the freedoms we have today. I am thankful that with each passing generation young men and women continue to step forward and serve. We have American heroes in our midst every day. Be proud of your service. Less than 1 percent serve in uniform. You are part of an elite group.”
Photographed (from left): State Rep. Trevor Drown, U.S. Congressman Steve Womack and retired Major General William Wofford were among the guests of honor at a Veterans Day luncheon hosted by the Arkansas Tech University Office of Veteran Services on Friday, Nov. 11.