Miami Regionals Veterans Honored

Miami regionals student veterans

Miami Regionals student veterans were honored for their academic achievements at a special ceremony held Thursday evening, May 14, at the Voice of America Learning Center.

The evening marked the first presentation of the Specialist Matthew Nichols Stephens Veterans Honor challenge coin, presented to Miami Regional student veterans who achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher.

The Honors coins, and Miami Regionals veterans challenge coins, were made possible by a gift from the Wetzel family, and were presented to the veterans by his mother Beverly Wetzel, wife of Miami Hamilton faculty member Richard Wetzel, and his son, Kailin Stephens.

Dean G. Michael Pratt presided over the ceremony, and he was joined by Ohio State Representative Tim Derickson as guest speaker. Derickson presented each with a special commendation for their academic achievements.

Members of the Hamilton High School Navy JROTC served as escorts for the evening, and the colors were presented by members of the Color Guard of West Chester VFW Post 7696.

Born in 1981, Stephens was a combat engineer with the 82nd Airborne Division and served with his unit in Afghanistan. Following his honorable discharge he joined the National Guard to continue his service until his passing in 2013.

The event was coordinated by J.P. Smith, Regional Coordinator of Veteran Services and a retired US Army First Sergeant, and members of the VOALC staff.

To learn more about opportunities and services for veterans at Miami’s regional campuses, contact Smith at

More photos from the event are available online at