Capt. Joseph Sanders of Waverly will be guest speaker at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s 11th annual Memorial Day Commemoration, set for 9 a.m. Friday at the Hall-Moody Administration Building entrance.
The program is also dedicated in memory of former Gov. Ned Ray McWherter, who died April 4. McWherter served 21 years in the Tennessee National Guard before retiring with the rank of captain.
Sanders is currently assigned as a student at the University of Tennessee at Martin and participating in the master of business administration program. He has 14 years of active duty service and came to the university in January 2011 as part of the U.S. Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling program, allowing him to pursue an advanced degree while maintaining active duty status.
He is a 2001 graduate of UT Martin, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy. Additionally, he is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Basic Course and the Military Intelligence Captains Career Course. His assignments include electronics technician, U.S.S. Lake Champlain CG-57 at San Diego, Calif.; platoon leader, 1-63rd Armor Battalion at Vilseck, Germany, to include deployment to Iraq in support of OIF II; assistant intelligence officer, 1-26 Infantry Battalion, Schweinfurt, Germany, to include deployment to Iraq in support of OIF 06-08; and intelligence officer, 3-71 Cavalry Squadron, Fort Drum, N.Y., to include deployment to Afghanistan in support of OEF 09.
Sanders’ awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Expert Infantryman Badge.
Area veterans are asked to call 731-881-7150 to confirm attendance so they can be recognized during the event.
Captain Jeff Crawford, UT Martin Department of Military Science and Leadership scholarship and enrollment officer, will serve as master of ceremonies. Dr. Roberto Mancusi, UT Martin assistant professor of music, will perform the national anthem, and Joe Walker, Martin veteran, will offer the invocation. Veteran Dennis Kosta, UT Martin custodial services manager, will give the benediction.
Dr. Tom Rakes, UT?Martin chancellor, will welcome guests. The Tennessee National Guard will present the colors before the ceremony and “Taps” at the end of the observance. The UT?Martin Department of Public Safety will honor area veterans with a gun salute.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Hardy M. Graham Stadium parking lot directly across from the Hall-Moody Administration Building.
Eastbound and westbound traffic on University Street, in front of the administration building, will be stopped briefly as the flag ceremony begins and during the gun salute. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Student Life Center on the UT Martin campus.