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The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene honored military veterans with a Veterans Day Celebration on November 9, 2015.

The ceremony included a presentation of colors by the UH Army ROTC Color Guard and a moment of silence to remember the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and civilians in times of war.

Hawaiʻi Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, herself a veteran, was the keynote speaker.

“I’m really pleased to see the cadets here today, representing a generation through their own example of having chosen service,” Gabbard said.

UH Mānoa’s nursing school is doing its part to honor and assist veterans after recently receiving federal Health Resources and Services Administration funding for the Vets-to-Nursing Program. The school will provide college credits for a veteran’s past medical experience, creating a quick pathway to professional nursing and employment for service members with skills and experience in healthcare.

“It not only empowers the veterans to be able to continue their profession, to be able to continue their service,” said Gabbard. “But it also helps I think people within our community at large to learn more about, you know, what their lives have been like and what their service has been like.”

Programs like this mean a lot to veterans pursuing their higher education.

“It doesn’t feel like the nine years I did in military is wasted,” said Chase Haygood, a Mānoa nursing student. “It feels like, okay, somebody else recognizes, besides the military, what I have done and what I have been through. So ya, it feels great.”

The initiative is the first program of its kind in Hawaiʻi, and is part of a national effort to address the growing demand for healthcare services throughout our nation.

The nursing school’s Vets-to-Nursing program is among many recent efforts to support veterans. UH’s ten campuses began offering in-state tuition to all veterans in the spring 2015 semester.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. For Veterans day we Veterans would prefer less thanks, parades, and light bulbs and more action on correcting the problems at the VA. The VA in Honolulu is terrible, ask a Veteran who uses it. The VA treats Veterans like beggars and its processes nearly always result in more harm than good. For decades we have heard the same excuses. Every day more than 22 Veterans commit suicide. Politicians are out of touch and those who are Veterans themselves have yet to honor those they served with. I know if it were me I would of lost my shit in congress a long time ago and demanded a VA worthy of Veterans. Mark and Tulsi are both Veterans, Hirono is on Sen. VA Committee. They know how bad the VA is in Honolulu yet feel Veterans are beneath them and not worthy of the same quality of care they receive.

    If a Veteran asked the VA for help with PTSD today how long do you think it would be before they got help?

    I am personally willing to bet anyone the answer is months. This is not acceptable. It is the VA process itself that prevents Veterans from getting the help they need in a timely manner. The problem is not doctors it is administrators. When I applied for compensation for my service connected injury it took them 13 months. Of the time I was apart of the process for about 3 hours to include driving. What could possibly take 13 months when I have provided you with everything required of me in 3 hours? I am a very abled-disabled person. I know a lot of people had it worse then me and its for their sake the VA must change the way it operates. I have walked through the mine field. As a Veteran I can not live myself knowing the same problems exist for those behind me. The mine field must be cleared. All Veterans want for Veterans day is to know that their fellow Veterans are taken care of. Thanking or honoring are service often feels like a empty gesture knowing the burdens of War still lay firmly on our shoulders.

    If you want to thank or honor a Veteran, demand action on the VA.

    OIF Veteran

    1. @Bryan T: Your argument is valid and precise with hard evidence to back it up. Unfortunately posting it here will receive little to no recognition. Hard questions like those you have presented here will continue to be disregarded by politicians. As their major concern is about public image and maintaining their position. I felt like this ceremony exemplified that. The glorification of small changes in policy instead of addressing the issues that matter most. I wish you the best in your interactions with the VA and thank you for your service.

      Also, I laughed when I read how the school was doing its part to honor veterans AFTER receiving funding. Cause hey, if they aren’t being paid to do it then why would they in the first place? And that plug about in-state tuition for all veterans is such a joke. Its a mandatory change to policy required by the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. It isn’t something the school chose to do independently.

      People have no call to action, only a call to silence. Welcome to an average internet debate.

      Prior USN Sailor

  2. While I completely agree with your disgust with the VA, I don’t agree with your assessment of Rep Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi’s remarks here reveal a person who cares a great deal about her fellow veterans:

    Rep Tulsi Gabbard: This is a bitter-sweet day because often around Memorial day, there often is a lot of hypocrisy. We hear a lot of speeches – mostly from politicians – about how they care about our troops, how we should remember their sacrifice and honor them – but then it turns out it’s a lot of lip service. … this makes me angry because it’s personal….

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