A Tribute to Our Veterans

Veteran's Day

U.S. Navy Recruiter & Raider Red at TTUHSC Veteran's Day Ceremony

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) honored veterans with a Veterans Day celebration Nov. 12 at the TTUHSC Academic Classroom Building.
Veterans Day is observed annually on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Texas Tech University System Chancellor and TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., said it is important to show appreciation to veterans and soldiers.

President Mitchell speaks to honor veterans

Texas Tech University System Chancellor & TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell honors veterans.

“It is tradition at our university to observe Veterans Day and remember their service to our country with respect and gratitude for their sacrifices and dedication to our nation,” Mitchell said.
The ceremony began with MusiCare’s Serotonins singing the national anthem and a Wall of Honor was on display with photos of TTUHSC veterans, military and family who have served.

Man views images of veterans

Veteran's honored with a veteran's wall featuring TTUHSC faculty, staff, students, & alumni who have served in the military. 

A veterans panel, introduced by Sara Henly, a U.S. Navy veteran and the Veteran and Military Advisor for the Office of Student Serves, was moderated by Kyle Chapman, TTUHSC School of Nursing Veteran Liasion.
One of the panel participants was Christopher G. Riggs, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army who served for 9 years. Riggs is second-year School of Health Professions Doctor of Physical Therapy student.
“My mother was an office manager in home health, so I was exposed to occupational, physical and speech therapy. I also had some football injuries and had to get physical therapy, so that made me go toward that path,” Riggs said. “I like physical therapy and my mother did work in the field, so it ties together.”

Veteran student shares experiences

Christopher G. Riggs, former sergeant in the U.S. Army and second-year School of Health Professions Doctor of Physical Therapy student. 

Riggs, originally from East Texas, said he was interested in the medical field before he thought about enlisting in the Army.
“I had some family members who served in World War II and Korea. I did two years at junior college when I became really interested in the military. Initially, I was thinking about ROTC, but I enlisted for the education benefits and I liked the military,” Riggs said.
Although he did not serve overseas, Riggs became a medic and worked in a hospital doing blood collections and also learned the business side of health care. 
“We were there to take care of soldiers,” he said. “The blood was going to combat areas, but it was also serving the community and being used in everyday surgeries.”
While in the Army, Riggs met his wife of 5 years, Rachel, also a former Army sergeant and medic who served in Iraq. She is now an emergency room nurse at University Medical Center.
After completing his service, Riggs went back to school and completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
“In hindsight, I should’ve trained to be a physical therapy assistant, but I received a lot of experience. Starting out as a soldier, becoming a sergeant and getting to manage others will be helpful for what I’m going to do in the future,” Riggs said.
When asked why he agreed to sit on the panel, Riggs didn’t hesitate with an answer.

Dr. Mittemeyer, former surgeon general, speaks to current veteran medical student

Former Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and TTUHSC physician, Bernhard T. Mittemeyer and second year medical student, Alec Egan, at the Veteran's Day ceremony. 

“Sara asked. She takes care of us. She’s a rock star as far as veterans’ benefits. She really makes you feel like you’re being taken care of and that’s something I appreciate.”
Also at the event was a veterans resource fair and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve was present to accept donations for Toys for Tots. New unwrapped presents will be accepted through Dec. 12 at the Office of the President and the Office of Student Services, 2C400.

The TTUHSC Veteran's Resource Center in Room 218 of Preston Smith Library is now open for all military students.  

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