Veterans recognized during Bicentennial Homecoming

Veterans recognized during Homecoming

Nov. 5, 2019

Maryville College’s Student Veterans Association recognized alumni veterans living and deceased during its second Military Alumni Reunion during the College’s Bicentennial Homecoming 2019. Attendees at the Oct. 19 event held in Isaac’s Café included alumni and their families and MC faculty, staff and students.

Jim Humphrey, the College’s Director of Veteran Outreach and Recruiting, and Phoenix Ball ’20, Student Veteran Association president, each welcomed attendees to the event and introduced a video highlighting the College’s military ties over the years.

In addition to honoring four veterans from milestone reunion classes with “quilts of freedom” made by members of the Friendsville Quilts of Valor (QOV) chapter, the SVA recognized the service and sacrifice of Harvey “Butch” Crabtree, Jr. ’69. Crabtree, a student from Loudon, Tenn., served with the 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division down in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam and was killed in action on June 19, 1969.

“Butch transferred to Maryville College as a sophomore from Austin Peay State University in 1966,” said friend and classmate David Hollingsworth ’69.  “Unfortunately, he lost three credits that Maryville College could not accept with the transfer. Prior to our senior year, his draft board notified him that he was being drafted due to the lost credits resulting in him being classified a junior.

“Butch entered the Army in August 1968 and shipped out to Vietnam in January 1969,” Hollingsworth continued. “He served with the 4th Artillery, 9th Infantry Division down in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. He was a forward observer calling in artillery coordinates to fire on enemy positions. When out on patrol, he stepped on a mine and was killed instantly.”

Hollingsworth, who also served with the Army in Vietnam, reported that Dick Craig ’68, Butch’s best friend, escorted Crabtree’s body home from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

“Butch had a full military funeral and is buried in the Loudon, Tennessee area,” Hollingsworth said. “His headstone has a picture of him in a MC football uniform holding a football and wearing a graduation cap, reflecting that he was a student and an athlete.”

Four presented quilts

Dene Frank and Brenda Morton of Quilts of Valor presented beautiful handmade “quilts of freedom” to four alumni veterans.

Established in 2003, the QOV Foundation, a non-profit, seeks to “cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.” The organization has 8,000 volunteer quilters nationwide, and more than 186,000 quilts have been made.

Those receiving quilts included:

  • Joseph Tropansky ’59, who served in the U.S. Army from 1966 until 1969.
  • David Crawford ’69, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 until 1973.
  • Scott Wood ’69, who served in the U.S. Army from 1971 until 1976.
  • David Hollingsworth ’69, who served in the U.S. Army from 1969 until 1972 and later served as the team leader and director of the Greenville, S.C. Vet Center from 1981 until his retirement in 2007.

Following the service, attendees were invited to an Open House in the College’s Military Student Center. Members of the SVA participated in the Homecoming Parade.

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”