Southern Arkansas University honored the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces at its annual Veterans Day Tribute on Nov. 11, 2019.
SAU alum Jack Dale Jordan delivered the keynote address. Jordan, a helicopter pilot, served two tours of duty in Vietnam. His speech was followed by the salute to troops and first responders, during which individual servicemen and women stood and were recognized according to their branches of service.
Jordan, who attended for two years at SAU, enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1966. He served for seven years, attaining the rank of infantry captain. Jordan served his second tour as an operations officer and a Department of the Army instructor pilot for H/Trp. 1/10th Cavalry.
He received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, 36 Air Medals (including one with V), and two Vietnamese Cross of Gallantries with Palm.
He spoke of the sacrifices that soldiers make in service to our country and read to the audience several tributes to the military. He also related stories about his own experiences in the Army and as a pilot.
“When I came home in December of 1972, I had survivor’s guilt,” he said. “But I learned in my acceptance of life never to give up.”
As part of the observance, Josh Kee, SAU’s vice president for advancement, performed a rousing rendition of “God Bless the USA,” and the SAU Brass Ensemble performed a selection of medleys representing each branch of service. Dr. David Lanoue, provost and vice president for academic affairs, opened the ceremony by praising those who serve.
“We reflect on what unites us,” Lanoue said. “We are grateful to our Armed Services, and we honor the courage and sacrifice of those who wear the uniform. Our American experiment continues thanks to them.”
Cledis Stuart, associate dean for multiculturalism and diversity, closed with the benediction.