Friday, May 22, 2015

"Be courageous and appreciate courage in others who take action in the face of fear"

Medal of Honor winner Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts addressed the University of New Hampshire graduating class in this video:

UNH issued this press release:

DURHAM, N.H. – “Be courageous and appreciate courage in others who take action in the face of fear,” University of New Hampshire commencement speaker Ryan Pitts ’13 said during the university’s 145th commencement held Saturday, May 16, 2015. More than 2,429 undergraduate and 485 graduate students — including 44 military veterans — ranging in age from 20 to 79 years old and representing 43 states and 25 foreign countries received degrees.

Relating the combat actions during the 2008 Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan that earned him the Presidential Medal of Honor, Pitts shared insights of courage, valor and dedication to his brothers in arms.

“I never imagined that I would be forced to fight while wounded, let alone that I was even capable of it,” he said. “I discovered that we can venture beyond the horizon of our perceived capabilities and do more than we ever thought possible.”

“Appreciate the contributions of others and the impacts they make in your life,” he said as he named the nine men who fought alongside him that day but did not survive.

Pitts, an Army Staff Sergeant and resident of Nashua, received the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in 2014. A 2013 graduate of the university’s business program in Manchester, he also serves on the UNH Alumni Association advisory board.

In his welcoming remarks to graduates, their families and commencement guests, UNH President Mark Huddleston commended the class of 2015 for the commitment to service they share with Pitts.

“Members of this class have volunteered thousands and thousands of hours in service to others, from reading to middle school kids and stocking food pantries in New Hampshire to building homes in Haiti and encouraging reconciliation in post-war Bosnia,” he said. “You go into the Peace Corps and Teach for America and City Year and VISTA in numbers all out of proportion to the size of this institution.”

Huddleston highlighted the service of three graduating seniors: Hamel Scholar Tim Marquis of Nashua, who excels in academics and makes time to volunteer at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and as a ski patroller at Crotched Mountain; Dover’s Verna Boudreau, who received thunderous applause when Huddleston announced she was graduating with an honors degree in English at age 79; and UNH Cat Pack Captains leader Peter Wilkinson of Lancaster, who snapped a selfie with Huddleston and the class of 2015 before leading the crowd in the “I believe in UNH” cheer.

“I could easily share more of your stories,” Huddleston said. “Thank you for all you have done—and for all you will do.”

Gerald Carmen ’52 and Hope Makris ’46 received UNH’s 2015 Granite State Awards, given in recognition of outstanding community service. Makris is the current owner of the NASWA Resort on Lake Winnipesaukee in Laconia, continuing to play an active role in the daily operations of the resort at age 90. Active in New Hampshire politics for more than 25 years, Carmen was chairman of the state’s Republican Party for three consecutive terms and for eight years was its representative to the Republican National Committee. From 1984-86 Carmen served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.

Along with Pitts, nationally known portrait and landscape painter Richard Whitney ’68 received an honorary degree. Whitney has paintings hanging in more than 750 public and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad and has painted more than 400 portraits, including numerous CEOs of industry, presidents of universities and educational leaders as well as family and individual portraits. Town and Country magazine recently named him one of the top dozen portrait painters in America.

The University of New Hampshire produced a total of 2,553 undergraduates and 634 graduate students across its three campuses in Durham, Manchester and Concord.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 13,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students.


Darryl Hamilton said...

Damn, their own institution got it wrong. There is no such thing as the Presidential Medal of Honor. SSGT Pitts received the 'Congressional' Medal of Honor, the highest award in the Military, from President Obama.

There is a Presidential Medal of Freedom that is the highest award for civilians.

Anonymous said...

“The last thought I will leave you with is more a matter of character. Never forget those who helped you reach where you are.”

Then he named the men who died that morning, eight on Topside and one in the village of Wanat: “ Sergio Abad, Jonathan Ayers, Jason Bogar, Jonathan Brostrom, Israel Garcia, Jason Hovater, Matthew Phillips, Pruitt Rainey and Gunnar Zwilling. The advice here is simple: Appreciate the contributions of others and the impacts they make in your life. That’s it.”

Anonymous said...

2:34 pm That resonated with me as well.

I'm afraid I know of too many men who think they are " self-made" these days. I can't think of one career where anyone accumulates great wealth without the competent help of others along the way.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS