Hodges University to host fourth annual Veterans Day ceremony
The Hodges University Veterans Club, comprised of students who are veterans, will host their fourth annual Veterans Day celebration on Friday, November 11, beginning at 11:00am in the Science and Technology building Lecture Hall at the Hodges Naples campus, 2655 Northbrooke Drive. The event will be simulcast for Hodges students at the Ft. Myers campus as well.
The ceremony will pay tribute to all veterans and acknowledge the many sacrifices and accomplishments put forth which have enabled our country to remain strong and vigilant. The ceremony will feature a presentation of colors from the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Color Guard, followed by a speech by guest speaker, Captain Wayne Smith, US Air Force (Ret.).
A Vietnam P.O.W. Smith was a fighter pilot and flew 90 missions over North Vietnam and Laos before being shot down in January, 1968. He once sat in a cell near Senator John McCain in the infamous Plantation prison outside Hanoi and was imprisoned for five years before being released. His honors for service in combat include the Legion of Merit, two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, seven Air Medals and the Purple Heart.
During the ceremony, a flag, originally flown above the U.S. Capitol, will be presented to Earl Hodges, namesake of Hodges University. Dr. Hodges served in the Merchant Marine during World War II. The outbreak of the Korean War found him back in the service, this time in the U.S. Army’s Grave Registration unit in Japan.