LMU honors the veterans

Published 10:44 am Monday, November 13, 2017

Lincoln Memorial University hosted a special free dinner on Nov. 10 in honor of Veterans Day at the LMU Convention Center in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.

Hosted by the Student Association of Military and Osteopathic Medicine (SAMOP), the dinner was a way for LMU and the SAMOP to honor the veterans in their own way.

SAMOP is a program for LMU students who have an interest in going into military medicine at some point in their career. While the program has many members of the military in it, people who aren’t currently contracted in the military or part of the ROTC are welcome to join the club.

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A first-year medical student of SAMOP, 2nd LT. Alec Donohue, sat down with the Daily News to discuss the program and the special dinner they hosted for veterans.

“They do this event every year…the leadership of the group kind of took it upon themselves to push this event and really make it bigger, broader and really bring in the community,” said Donohue.

One of the new additions to this year’s dinner was that the SAMOP reached out the Pineville JROTC to form a Color Guard that is done in conjunction with the LMU’s ROTC program to present the colors. The dinner also featured guest speaker Bill Summers, who is a retired major of the United States Air Force.

Donohue feels that recognizing the veterans is a vitally important thing to do and that LMU and SAMOP is simply doing their part.

“I think that organizations and events like this are super important to keep awareness up — especially as we’re having more and more soldiers, airmen and sailors coming home. It’s crucial — if anything,” he said.

Any proceeds the SAMOP receive from the events they put on go to an organization called 22 Too Many, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness to the mental health issues veterans suffer from when they come home.

“It’s about destigmatizing the symptoms and problems that are affiliated with those things. It’s about getting those individuals the help and resources that they need without keeping them in the dark or in shame,” said Donohue.