Liaison’s Ledger: In The Service

Friday, May 25, 2018
How many times are we asked, “Were you in the service?”  It resonated on multiple levels in May when the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) sponsored its 10th annual “Yale Day of Service.” For the past seven years, led by the Yale Veterans Association (YVA) and Henry Kwan of the AYA, Yale alumni and friends have gathered at the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital to serve veterans at the Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center.     
More than 30 volunteers worked with the veterans to replant their vegetable planters and to clean up the adjacent grounds.   We then had lunch with the veterans and learned about techniques and tools used to help them to adapt to their vision loss.  We were pleasantly surprised after lunch when Vietnam veteran Linda Schwartz, Yale MSN ’84, ’98, Ph.D., presented the Department of Defense lapel pin to those present who had served in uniform between 1955 and 1975.   
Members of the Guilford High Baseball Team pinned the award on each eligilble veteran while reciting the phrase etched on the obverse of the pin, “A grateful nation thanks and honors you.” 
When we are asked, “Were you in the service?” it is not about your military branch.  The complete question is, “Were you in the service of our country?”  While the YVN is focused on veterans, the Yale Day of Service is a great reminder that our university values service to our society in any form.  The “For God, For Country, and For Yale,” motto etched above the Branford College Gate, reminds us of this important commitment.  That we come together to be of service to those who have served is a testament to Yale’s long history with the military of the United States.
This Memorial Day weekend we paused to remember those who gave their “last full measure of devotion” to our country and especially those, who fifty years later, were not present to recieve thanks from a grateful nation.
As always, please do not hesitate to call me at 203.432.0879 with your questions and comments on how we might support those who have served.  Email   
Jack Beecher
Yale Veteran Liaison
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