State App Community Honors Military Mountaineers, Heards the Perspective of Military Families | USS News

BOONE – Standing next to the Veterans Memorial on the Appalachian State University campus, former student Barbara Ashley recounted one of her earliest memories – standing in her front yard at Fort Bragg as she watched soldiers, including his father, jump from planes.

Barbara shared her memories and insights on the experiences of military spouses and families at the university’s 2021 Veterans Day ceremony, where more than 100 people gathered to honor and congratulate those who served. in the armed forces.

Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts, far right, thanks all active-duty veterans and military personnel for their service at the App State’s Veterans Day 2021 ceremony .

The ceremony included remarks from Chancellor Sheri Everts and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs JJ Brown.

“In acknowledging this important occasion, we express our gratitude to all veterans, and in particular to our campus heroes,” said Everts, noting that App State employs 76 veteran staff and faculty and enrolls 384 veteran students. and nearly 750 military spouses and dependents.

Barbara, an entrepreneur, was for 35 years the active-duty military wife of Lieutenant-General (Retired) Robert “Bob” Ashley, App State Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and former director of US Defense Intelligence Agency.

During the ceremony, App State Army ROTC cadets presented the colors, and Brent Bingham, artistic production specialist and lecturer at App State’s Hayes School of Music, performed the anthem. national.

Tradition of military support

Brown said the university is nationally recognized for its work in supporting veterans.

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Austin Reed of Appalachian State University, a criminal justice major from Jefferson, carries the flag for the presentation of the colors at the university’s 2021 Veterans Day ceremony. Reed is one of the Pershing Rifles of the State Army ROTC App, the university’s drills and ceremonies organization.

On Veterans Day in 2016, the university opened the Major-General Edward M. Reeder Jr. Veterans Resource Center. This center gives military students access to mentorship, tutoring and support. designed for their distinct needs, according to Brown.

App State has been named a Military Friendly® school since 2010, he added, and this year, US News & World Report ranked App State as the second southern university in the Best Colleges for Veterans category.

Perspectives of a military spouse

Barbara thanked the audience for taking the time to “take a break and remember the importance of this day” and offered a glimpse into her life as a daughter, wife, niece, cousin, daughter-in-law. and sister-in-law of veterans.

“My first hero, like a lot of girls, was my dad,” she said, explaining that her dad was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

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Brent Bingham, artistic production specialist and lecturer at the Hayes School of Music, left, performs the national anthem during the 2021 Veterans Day ceremony at Appalachian State University.

She said her second hero was her husband, who, like many servicemen, has spent his military career working “16 hours a day, seven days a week, and sometimes longer.” Because of those extended hours, Barbara said veterans “often miss things that many of us take for granted” such as “birthdays, childbirths… and App State football.”

“Our veterans are a representation of all the goodness of this country,” said Barbara. “They are selfless heroes who put the needs of our nation ahead of themselves and their families. “

She shared stories of military families she has met over the past three decades, including families of “double service”, in which both partners actively serve. At the end of one of Bob’s deployments, she witnessed one of her most powerful reminders that veterans and their families serve together: Barbara went to greet the soldiers at home and saw a banner at headquarters that read, “Welcome home, mom and dad!” My love, Julianna.

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During the 2021 Appalachian State University Veterans Day ceremony, Barbara Ashley, far right, talks about the experiences of military families and spouses. Ashley is an entrepreneur, former App State student and the wife of Lt. Gen. (retired) Robert Ashley.

She challenged everyone present to consider the sacrifices of veterans and find ways to show their appreciation for their service.

Barbara, originally from Raleigh, attended App State from 1979 to 1982. There she met Bob, whom she married in 1985. She spent the next three decades as an active-duty military wife, performing over 17 relocations throughout Bob’s military career.

She graduated from the ATI Career Training Center in 1990 with an associate’s degree for travel agents. Since 2011, she has owned Where in the World Vacations, a home travel agency.

Barbara and Bob have two children, Sean and Justin, and two grandchildren, Arthur and Keaton.

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Barbara Ashley, right, and her husband, Lt. Gen. (Ret’d) Robert Ashley, are pictured near the Appalachian State University Veterans Memorial. At the university’s 2021 Veterans Day ceremony, Barbara shared her perspective on the experiences of military families and spouses.

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