Historian and professor Robert Watson continuously serves as an advocate for educating students about veterans and the stories they have to offer.
With each Veterans Day, Watson brings World War II veterans on campus, in addition to the students and faculty that served before joining the Lynn family. These individuals will be recognized today at 11 a.m. at Perper Plaza, featuring a speech from President Kevin Ross.
Watson has great pride in his role as an advocate for veterans, underscoring the importance of each individual. Previously he would reach out to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Lauderdale Lakes, but now they contact him.
“We need to educate students on these veterans and the stories that they have,” said Watson. “These WWII veterans were in their late teens and early twenties, jumping out of planes and fighting for their lives.”
Not only does Watson dedicate time to veterans today, but he incorporates educating students about veterans through his classes on campus as well. Watson assigns students specific veterans, offering a research angle into learning the stories of those who have served. In these classes, students must post their interview onto social media to promote awareness.
“The purpose of me doing this project is not only for students to understand veterans’ stories, but also to allow the stories to be made public,” said Watson. “When they post them online, we can send those videos to the library and they can be archived. This way their stories will never be forgotten and can be shared with future generations to come.”
In addition to these activities, Watson will take students to the Boca Raton Airport in late January to have first-hand experience with WWII bomber planes. Through this opportunity to sit inside these vehicles, students will learn more about both veterans and their commonly used means of transportation.
“Not every day do students get a chance to sit inside vintage bombers and meet more than a dozen WWII veterans,” said Watson.
Watson is one of many at Lynn that places high significance on appreciating those who have served. His hope is that students will use the opportunities he provides to truly change veteran awareness in the local community.