What Makes a Veteran?

What does the word ‘veteran’ call to mind?

Veterans Day is about commemorating the service of all U.S. Veterans. It differs from Memorial Day, which honors the sacrifice of those who died in service, but rather celebrates the dedication and honor of all service men and women.

So what is a veteran?

There is no common definition to be found between offices of the government, organizations, and especially the individuals who often answer to this name.

It’s most commonly used for those who served in the military and have since left, or retired, but Veterans Day is about those who are STILL sacrificing too.

Veterans themselves do not take the word lightly. Some will not call themselves a veteran until they have served in an actual combat zone. The private regulations on what constitutes that status are many and varied.

Not serving in a combat zone, however, does not mean a veteran has not served their country. Take, for example, the doctors at Brooks Army Burn Center, who treat some of the worst burn cases in the country for both military and civilians.  There are many service members, and their families, who sacrifice every day without leaving the country.

It’s really something we must each define in our hearts, but whatever your standing definition of a veteran is, one fact is very clear. The service men and women, past and present, of this nation sacrifice personal safety, time with their families, and many of their own freedoms in order to protect our country. This dedication is to be celebrated and honored, but never forgotten, on Veterans Day or any other. It is only through constant vigilance that our nation can remain a great one.

In the words of Ronald Reagan:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.”


Zoe Kahn

Zoe KahnZoe is a Marketing Student Worker at UCA’s Office of Outreach & Community Engagement. Zoe studies Public Relations at UCA. She is also a military spouse and is on the UCA Veterans Day Planning Committee. For information on the Veterans Day Celebration you can go to uca.edu/outreach/veteransday/.

Outreach and CDI Central Receive Governor Quality Awards


UCA’s Divison of Outreach and Community Engagement and CDI have been awarded the Governor’s Quality Challenge Award! Left to right: Diane Tatum, CDI Advisory Board Member; Shannon Cantrell, CDI Graduate Assistant, Kelly Hunt Lyon, CDI Director, Kristy Carter, Outreach Executive Director, Kimberly Klotz, Marketing Department Graphic Designer

Outreach and CDI Central Receive Governor Quality Awards

Two departments within the University of Central Arkansas have been recognized by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence and awarded the Governor Quality Challenge Award.  The Division of Outreach and Community Engagement and the Community Development Institute-Central, were presented the award by Governor Beebe at the 2012 Governor’s Quality Awards Celebration on Monday, September. 24.

This award, which honors groups in the state striving for performance excellence, are two of only 17 presented statewide the year. “Excellence is one of Outreach’s core values and we are committed to being the best we can be, and we’re happy to be recognized at this level,” said Kristy Carter, Director of Outreach and Community Engagement.

The Governor Quality Challenge Award is the starting point for any organization interested I adopting and applying quality principles to attain performance excellence. “Even though we’re just at the beginning of the process, we’ve benefitted greatly from the experience.  UCA is a steward of a valuable state and regional resource and this will help us safeguard its future.” Said Ms. Lyon of the award, “Bill Craddock, a leader in the state and national quality process as well as an instructor for CDI, suggested this is a way to help CDI grow to the next level.”

The Governor’s Quality Award program is operated by the Arkansas Institute for Performance Excellence, Inc.  Developed by a team of volunteers, the program is designed to provide opportunities for all organizations in the state to measure their progress in the journey of performance excellence.

UCA is committed to the intellectual, social, and personal development of its students; the advancement of knowledge through excellence in teaching and research; and service to the community. UCA ranks 23rd in the category of “Top Public Schools” among regional universities in the South in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of universities and colleges. For more information on UCA please visit www.uca.edu/.