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Military/Veteran Graduate Recognition Ceremony May 8 for APSU spring grads

5/6/2013

Active duty and military veteran students who will graduate from Austin Peay State University this week will receive APSU’s military coin.

The military and veteran graduate recognition and coin presentation ceremony, with the theme “All Hail to Those Who Serve,” is scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 in the Mabry Concert Hall, located inside the Music/Mass Communication Building. The event is open to the public.

Guest speaker will be state Sen. Mark Green. A special coin presentation also will be held to honor Clarksville resident Joe Winn, an APSU alumnus who will be the first World War II veteran to receive APSU’s military coin.

About state Sen. Mark Green

As state senator, Green currently serves District 22 (Houston, Montgomery and Stewart counties). He is vice chair of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee as well as a member of the Judiciary and State and Local Government committees. He is also the chaplain of the Senate GOP Caucus where he authors a weekly devotion.

In his civilian life, Green is president and CEO of Align MD, an emergency department and urgent care management and staffing company based in Clarksville. He also founded Align MD Foundation, also in Clarksville, which provides health care to underserved populations throughout the world.

As an active duty soldier from 2004–06, Green served as the emergency department medical director at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell, Ky. There he won awards for patient satisfaction and efficiency.

Green’s military career actually began as an infantry officer. From 1987–90 he served as a rifle platoon leader, scout platoon leader and battalion personnel officer in the 194th Separate Armor Brigade at Fort Knox, Ky. Following the infantry officer’s advanced course, then-Capt. Green served as a battalion supply officer and an airborne rifle company commander in the famed 82nd Airborne Division.

In 1986, Green graduated West Point with a degree in quantitative business management. In addition to his degree from West Point, he has a master’s certificate from the University of Southern California in information systems and a medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

His military awards include the Bronze Star, The Air Medal, The Air Medal with “V” device for valor under heavy enemy fire, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, The Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Services Achievement Medal, the Combat Medical Badge, the U.S. Army Ranger Tab, U.S. Army Flight Surgeons’ Wings, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Senior Parachutists Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

About Joe Winn

In 1938, shortly before the U.S. entered World War II, a young 18-year-old man named Joe Winn left a job at his family’s service station to join the Navy. Tensions were rising in Europe and Asia as war broke out in those regions, and the young seaman soon saw signs of the conflict washing up on American shores. He witnessed U-Boat attacks on American ships off the coast of Florida, and he helped the Immigration Services search for German saboteurs in Jacksonville.

Then came the attack on Pearl Harbor. As America joined the World War, Winn patrolled the west coast in reconnaissance planes, looking for Japanese submarines. But the end of the war didn’t end his naval career. He went on to serve as a flight engineer on the Navy version of the B-24 bomber, looking for Soviet submarines off the Alaskan coast, traveling throughout the Pacific and brightening the skies with 80 million candle-powered search lights for pinned-down Marines fighting on the Chinese border during the Korean War.

In 1958, after 20 years of dedicated service, Winn left the Navy and returned home to the New Providence area. He entered Austin Peay State College on the G.I. Bill as a nontraditional student and, after graduation, went on to a long and successful career as an industrial arts teacher in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area.

About the APSU military coin

APSU created its own coin with its military students and veterans in mind. The antique bronze color coin, designed by the APSU Office of Public Relations and Marketing, is finished with black enamel. The first set was cast in 2011.

On one side of the coin, the eagle is prominently displayed as the nation’s symbol, along with other American patriotic elements. The University’s AP logo is situated at the bottom of the coin. The words, “All Hail to Those Who Serve,” were crafted from the lyrics of APSU’s alma mater and from the military’s customs and courtesies to welcome those who have joined the unit.

The other side of the coin shows an image of the clock tower atop the Browning Administration Building, generally considered the emblem of APSU. The year APSU was founded, 1927, also is noted on the bottom of the piece.

Students receiving the coin as military service members and veterans will graduate from APSU on Friday, May 10.