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The Diversity & Inclusion Blog

Veterans Employee Resource Group

Posted On: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 Posted By: Sibgha Javaid, Intern DIO Tags: Employee Resource Groups, Veterans

This group aims to support veterans of all branches within the armed forces. Members may be veterans, Reserve or National Guard members, family members of a veteran or simply an individual who desires to support members. The group provides insights to community needs, helps to strengthen the patient experience of veterans and supports the recruitment, retention and career mobility of veterans.

Veterans Day Wreath In conjunction with the DIO and the Interfaith ERG, the Veterans ERG hosted a wreath presentation and remembrance ceremony on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The event took place on the UMass Campus Quad at the flag poles. The presentation and ceremony was open to all members of the UMMHC and UMMS communities. Before the day of the event, the Veterans ERG and the DIO distributed a response sheet for participants to write the names of their loved ones, the branch of military that they were in, and the date they passed (if the participant wished to reveal this information). Thirty names were listed before the event was due to start. Military servicemen and women whose names were listed represented seven decades of military service; from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and to the Iraq and Afghan Wars. Many branches of military were honored as well such as: the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

Five members of the Veterans ERG introduced the event and presented a wreath as a remembrance for those whose lives were lost serving their country. An interfaith reading was done as well by members of the Interfaith ERG. A moment of silence was observed in order to honor and pay respect to our veterans. The names that members of the UMMS and UMMHC communities had written previously were read aloud. An opportunity for additional names followed for any participant to share the name of a loved one aloud who had not already done so. Music for the ceremony was provided by Aisling Novick, John Janus, and Burncoat High Music Magnet teacher, Deborah Cole.

The ceremony was described by many as genuine, touching, and heartfelt. Those who attended experienced a respectful ceremony that honored their peers’ friends, families, and loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

Other events the Veterans ERG has held include a UMASS Runs for Vets 5k race on November 4th, 2017 at Veterans Inc. at 69 Grove Street in Worcester. The Veterans ERGs co-chairs are Mary Burns and Myra Shah.

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