Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the sacrifices of men and women who served their country, whether they paid the ultimate sacrifice in war, or worked to give people around the world better lives.
“Veterans come in all sizes, shapes and ages,” said Lt. Col. Ann Gallucci, professor of aerospace studies and commander of the Air Force ROTC at Rochester Institute of Technology. “The men and women serving are building schools, digging wells and providing humanitarian assistance around the world.”
Gallucci will be the emcee for RIT’s annual Veterans Day Breakfast, from 8 to 10 a.m. Nov. 11 in the Gordon Field House and Activities center. The celebration, initiated by RIT President Bill Destler who will welcome guests, pays tribute to individuals who serve or have served honorably in uniform.
More than 500 people typically attend the event, now in its fifth year. Nearly 200 ROTC Army or Air Force cadets attend RIT.
Barry Culhane, executive assistant to RIT President Bill Destler and chair of the event committee, said RIT has a long history of accommodating the educational needs of returning veterans, dating back to the end of World War II.
“The breakfast is a way to acknowledge the service of all veterans affiliated with RIT and special guests from the Greater Rochester community who work to serve veterans and their families every day,” Culhane said. “We are deeply grateful for those who protect our freedoms.”
Members of the campus community who have relatives serving in uniform will also be acknowledged at the celebration. The program includes the presentation of the colors, a history of the meaning of Veterans Day, a medley of the different service songs and a brief video from VetsPrevail.com, which addresses the adjustments veterans face when returning from duty.
Gallucci said the call to join the military started as a child growing up in Kearny, N.J. She was commissioned through the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1997 and held numerous positions in the Air Force, working as a nuclear officer in Great Falls, Mont., on a launch range in Vandenberg, Calif., in national missile defense program testing in Los Angeles, as an executive officer and with cyber warfare operations in Colorado Springs, Colo, working for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon and on the Air Force budget for space programs before coming to Rochester last year.
“I always felt the need to serve something greater than myself,” she said. “Being in the military broadens your horizons. And Nov. 11 will always be a day to remember the sacrifices of those before us have made to the nation, and the world.”
A number of agencies that provide services to veterans will also attend, along with exhibits from the Military History Museum, American Red Cross, Gold Star Families Memorial, and more. Exhibits from RIT’s Effective Access Technology and Research Conference will also be on display.
In September, RIT was named No. 6 of regional universities in the north for “Best Colleges for Veterans” by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges.
All members of the campus community are invited to attend the Veterans Day recognition and celebration. For more information and to RSVP, contact Amanda Rubacha at 585-475-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.