Harding’s American Studies Institute honors local veterans at annual breakfast

The Harding University American Studies Institute (ASI) hosted Breakfast with a Veteran Monday, Nov. 12 in the Founders Room of David B. Burks American Heritage Building on Harding’s campus. Veterans and their guests enjoyed a complimentary breakfast and a program paying tribute to individuals who serve or have served honorably in uniform.

“Today, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, we honored local men, women and their families that have served our country,” said Kim Kirkman, executive director of ASI. “It was a privilege to hear some of the stories of their service and to have some of our students serve and sit with them. The message today charged us to keep telling these important stories to our families and next generations so the stories can live on and we can get a glimpse into the sacrifices that were made.”

Sam Jeffrey, director of the criminal justice program at Harding and former special agent in the CIA, delivered a keynote address praising military veterans for their sacrifice and commitment.

“The U.S. military is the greatest in the world, and it has repeatedly been used to bring freedom to oppressed people and to defend liberty,” Jeffrey said to those in attendance. “Antarctica is the only continent in the world that does not have a people that were defended and/or freed by the U.S. military. No other nation can claim such a legacy. That is your legacy.”

The campus organization began hosting the annual breakfast event in 2015 as a way to connect students and local veterans. Attendants enjoy an informal atmosphere sharing in food and conversation with students, members of the community and fellow veterans.