IVINS — Rocky Vista University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine Southern Utah campus hosted its second annual “Military Appreciation Ceremony” Oct. 12 at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins.
David J. Park, vice president and dean for the Southern Utah campus, and Natalie Pratt began the ceremony by introducing the school and welcoming guests, including veterans and future military physicians.
Rocky Vista military students then conducted the posting of colors, a traditional flag ceremony, which was presented by Brandon Trujillo, Zachary Cetraro, Kristen Zachariah and Benjamin Memmott.
Clinton E. Adams, president and CEO of Rocky Vista and retired rear admiral, spoke about the core values of military service and honored those who serve to protect their country and heal fellow soldiers.
The “Missing Man/POW Remembrance Ceremony” was led by Danny Greathouse, army specialist and president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961; Martha Bigbie, Air Force sergeant and commander of American Legion Post 90; and Don Francis, Navy commander and the veteran home’s chaplain.
Rocky Vista University military students Austin Gottschalk, Jake Van Weezep and SD Memmott approached a candlelit table, which was set with four place settings representing four branches of the U.S. military: Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy. As the students placed their hats upon the empty plates, guests learned of the significance of the items on the table: a slice of lemon, which symbolizes the missing soldier’s bitter fate, a pinch of salt, which represents the tears shed by family and loved ones and an inverted glass, which is set as a reminder of their inability to share in the toast.
The keynote address was delivered by Ginamarie Foglia, professor of primary care medicine at Rocky Vista. Foglia leads the school’s military medicine track, providing an overview and introduction to military medicine for students who are slated to enter the uniformed services.
Tony Moore, veteran home state officer, accepted the military medallion on behalf of Southern Utah Veterans Home for its exemplary service to veterans, including ranking No. 1 for the lowest re-hospitalization among over 15,000 nursing homes across the country, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“We are thrilled to receive this award from Rocky Vista University,” Moore said in a press release issued by the university. “Our relationship benefits our veteran residents, your medical students, both of our staffs, and the community as a whole.”