Hometown: Crane, Texas
Major: Civil and environmental engineering
Military Branch: Army
Where did you serve? Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California; Wiesbaden, Germany; Fort Bliss, Texas; Bogota, Columbia; Buckley Space Force Base, Colorado
Why did you choose UVA? I came to the University of Virginia as a recipient of the Posse Foundation Veteran Scholarship, which partners with top colleges to provide veterans with support and community while they pursue an undergraduate degree.
What does Veterans Day mean to you? To me, Veterans Day is a day to reflect on the sacrifices veterans make, from the ultimate sacrifice to other sacrifices that veterans and military families make throughout our military experiences. It’s a day to feel grateful for my military community of friends, leaders and mentors. And it’s a day to feel grateful for a nation that dedicates a day to thanking us.
Hometown: Front Royal
Major: History and philosophy
Military Branch: Navy
Where did you serve? Bahrain and Mayport, Florida, onboard USS The Sullivans
Why did you choose UVA? I came to UVA because it is a world-renowned school. Also, I am Virginia-born and -raised.
What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is a day to thank those who risked their lives for the nation by volunteering to serve in the armed forces.
Edgar Rodrigo Hercila San Miguel
Hometown: Brea, California
Major: Global development studies and data science
Military Branch: Army
Where did you serve? Amarah, Iraq
Why did you choose UVA? Between Harvard, Duke and UVA, [the] University of Virginia had the better DFAC [dining facilities]. I am first-generation American of Mayan decent and a first-generation university student who happens to be a combat veteran. Choosing to spend my prepaid tuition earned in service to this great country of ours, I hope attending UVA will afford me the opportunity to reaffirm the principles that I believe need to be conserved. I am tremendously proud of my Latin heritage and values the veteran community holds that are undervalued. I want to communicate and expand these unique, real-world perspectives here at UVA.
What does Veterans Day mean to you? Veterans Day is a day that distinguishes the less than one half of a percent of [the] American population that chose to serve our great country in the wars of the last decade. Beyond that, it distinguishes the men and women of moral courage who accepted the courageous responsibility to secure the freedoms and liberties that sadly, many Americans today have taken for granted.
24-hour POW/MIA Vigil and Ceremony
UVA’s ceremony honoring veterans will begin Monday at 3 p.m. on the University Avenue side of the Rotunda with a 24-hour vigil remembering prisoners of war and service members missing in action. The vigil will conclude with a ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 4 p.m. The program will include guest speaker Brig. Gen. Houston R. Cantwell, a Navy honor guard and a 21-gun salute. The vigil and the ceremony are open to the public.