DBU Honors Local Veterans at 2021 Veterans Day Luncheon

Veterans Lunch Photo

Dallas Baptist University recognizes that without the sacrifices made by brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country, we would not have the freedoms and privileges we do today. Out of an abundance of gratitude, DBU was honored to host the 2021 Veterans Day Luncheon to acknowledge and thank our Veterans in the Dallas Area.

United States Air Force Veteran Chris Deckard serves as DBU's Director of Military and Veteran Services and aided in organizing and planning this year's luncheon. On November 11, the luncheon held in the Hillcrest Great Hall on campus was free of charge for all Veterans and Active Military members.

During the program, Jonathan Teat, who serves DBU as Vice President for Administration and Enrollment, welcomed all in attendance and introduced a number of the proceeding program personalities. Chris Deckard then recognized the Veterans in attendance and prayed before welcoming DBU alumni and current Program Coordinator for Graduate Affairs Hayden Cawood, who led the singing of the National Anthem, to the stage. Marlon Ivan Rios, Director of Recruitment for Military and Veteran Services at DBU, then led in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, DBU President Dr. Adam Wright gave his opening remarks before welcoming the luncheon's featured speaker Chad Hennings to the stage.

Three-time Super Bowl champion and Air Force Veteran Chad Hennings' successes began long before his professional football career. An accomplished lineman in high school, Hennings was offered full scholarships from universities across the nation. Instead, he chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he racked up numerous honors academically and on the gridiron.

Hennings' exemplary achievements put him at the top of many draft lists and earned him a spot on the Dallas cowboys' roster, but Hennings postponed his entry into the National Football League to fulfill his commitment to the U.S. Air Force. He entered the Euro-NATO program, a training program for top pilots, and soon found himself and the controls of the A-10 Thunderbolt.

During his four-year stint with the Air Force, Hennings flew 45 missions in support of Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, an effort that helped provide relief and humanitarian aid to Kurdish refugees. He received two aerial achievement medals, a humanitarian award, and an outstanding unit award for his actions in the service.

After his discharge, Hennings joined the Dallas Cowboys, quickly earning a starting position as a defensive lineman. He spent his entire 9-year professional football career with the Cowboys, retiring in 2001 with three Super Bowl rings.

Since his retirement from the NFL, Hennings has found success as a commercial real estate professional, management consultant, and motivational speaker. He established Wingmen Ministries, a Christian men's group, in Dallas-Fort Worth and is active in community affairs, including work with Veterans' organizations, at-risk kids, and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Hennings is the author of three books, It Takes Commitment, Rules of Engagement: Finding Faith and Purpose in a Disconnected World, and Forces of Character.

Chad Hennings lives in Texas with his wife Tammy and their two children, Chase and Brenna.

Following the message given by Hennings, Jason Williams, who serves as Associate Vice President for Enrollment at DBU, gave the program's closing remarks, thus bringing the luncheon to an end.

"Being able to host a luncheon here at DBU to honor our Veterans is a tremendous way to continue to show why we are the DBU Patriots," says Chris Deckard. "The importance of letting our Veterans know that we appreciate the time they gave defending our great nation is paramount. The support given to the luncheon by Dr. Wright, Jonathan Teat, and many others shows our true commitment to our Veterans. We look forward to having another great turnout next year for this luncheon."

Once again, DBU is beyond grateful for the commitment and sacrifice made by our Veterans. Thanks is extended to all those involved in the planning of the Veteran's Day Luncheon who make this event possible. From the DBU Family to our true American Patriots, thank you for your service and devotion to our great nation.

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.