HCN News & Notes

American International College to Host Veterans Day Ceremony on Nov. 11

SPRINGFIELD — On Monday, Nov. 11, American International College (AIC) will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony dedicated to honoring and supporting those men and women who have served their country.

The ceremony will be held in the Schwartz Campus Center auditorium beginning at 11 a.m. The multi-generational Alumni Veterans Committee sponsors this annual event, which includes alumni spanning more than 50 years. The public is invited to attend.

This year, the college will also remember a founding member of the Veterans Committee, Henry Benjamin, who died late last month. In addition to being a two-time alumnus (1950 and 1962) and founding member of the Veterans Committee on campus, Benjamin was a professor at AIC for 50 years. A tribute to his lifetime of devotion to the institution as a student, alumnus, and veteran will be part of this year’s remembrance.

The ceremony includes the presentation of colors by the U.S. Marine Corps, the display and historical significance of the POW/MIA Missing Man table by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, and keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Sean Collins.

Collins assists the deputy surgeon general in the overall operation of the Air Force Medical Service, composed of a $6.1 billion, 44,000-person integrated healthcare delivery system across the U.S. and overseas. Key areas of his responsibilities include clinical operations, aeromedical evacuation, global force management, readiness, strategic medical plans, programs and budget, medical force management, and medical information systems management. He facilitates Air Force Medical Service operations through major commands, joint service agencies, the assistant secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), the Defense Health Agency, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Collins began his career at the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, where he was commissioned in the nurse corps. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in philosophy from UMass Medical School in Worcester.

In keeping with tradition, freshman English students are asked to write a patriotic essay. The committee selects standout works, and the top three winners are announced at the event, with the first-place essay read by the student.