Veterans Day Ceremony To Honor Fallen Alumni

Claremont McKenna College ROTC will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11 on Veterans Patio, located between Pitzer Hall and Roberts Hall South. The service honoring CMC alumni veterans will include a wreath-laying ceremony, an invocation and benediction by Father Joe Fenton, Catholic chaplain of The Claremont Colleges, and remarks by President Pamela Gann, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Douville, professor of military science and leadership for the ROTC program at CMC, and author and Vietnam veteran B.G. Burkett. Ceremonies are free and open to the public.

Burkett, also speaking at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum the previous evening in commemoration of Veteran’s Day, is the co-author of Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History (Verity Press Publishing, 1998). He received the Army’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award from former President George H. W. Bush in 2003, the highest honor the Army can bestow to a civilian for exceptional devotion to duty and significant contributions in the operations of the Department of Defense. In July 2005 Burkett was made an honorary member of the Army Ranger Hall of Fame, and in addition, worked with Congressman John T. Salazar (D-Colo.) to introduce The Stolen Valor Act of 2005legislation to penalize distributors of phony medals and those who fraudulently claim to be decorated veterans.

His book questions veteran stereotypes and researches the stories of more than 1,200 people, including actors and politicians, who claim to have fought in Vietnam. His research has led to appearances on ABC’s 20/20 and Fox News’s Hannity & Colmes, as well as articles in D Magazine, Texas Monthly, and Reader’s Digest.

Burkett is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. He served in Vietnam with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Vietnamese Honor Medal, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

His visit to the Athenaeum is hosted by the Claremont McKenna College Army ROTC program. The public portion of the Athenaeum event begins at 6:45 p.m. Seating is free, on a first-come basis.

For more information about the Veterans Day ceremony: 909-621-8102.

For further information regarding Burkett’s Thursday. Nov. 10 Athenaeum discussion: 909-621-8245.