Staff and faculty members of Washington and Lee University who have served in the armed forces commemorated Veterans Day today, Nov. 11, by gathering to note their service to the nation.
They span all branches of the military and all ages. Larry Stuart, a senior sergeant in public safety, spent six years in the Marine Corps. Buddy Atkins, the director of donor relations in University development, served in the Navy, including 23 years in the reserves. He is a 1968 graduate of W&L. Christine Burkett, who specializes in HVAC and plumbing in facilities management, spent 10 years in the Army, with a stint at Ft. Sill, Okla.
The most senior veteran on hand, Captain Robert C. Peniston, is retired from a long career in the U.S. Navy that began when he was a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy during World War II, and continued through Korea and Vietnam. He is also retired from the directorship of Lee Chapel at W&L.
The youngest vet, Kevin Booze, came in uniform. The public safety officer just returned from a deployment in Iraq with the Army National Guard. He’s proud of his service and glad to be back at work with the students. After the event, he headed to his child’s school for another Veterans Day observance.
Mike Young, director of public safety and an Army veteran of Vietnam, has been organizing the event for the past several years. He also was headed for an elementary school, which gives a tea in honor of veterans on this national holiday.
Front row (l. to r.): Leroy C. (Buddy) Atkins II (director of donor relations), Captain Robert Peniston (retired director of Lee Chapel), Dale Lyle (senior lead custodian). Center (l. to r.): Kevin Booze (public safety officer), John Hufnagel (senior biology technical manager), Tom Tinsley (director of network and telecommunications), Ted Hickman (assistant director of facilities services), Christine Burkett (HVAC/plumbing), Mark Fontenot (fire safety systems inspector/electrician). Back row (l. to r.): Mike Young (director of public safety), Lloyd Goad (technology support supervisor), Paul Burns (director of environmental health and safety), Jerry Clark (plumber), Laurie Lipscomb (communications technologist), Larry W. Stuart (public safety sergeant), Daniel R. Rexrode (public safety officer).