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poppyUT’s Veterans Resource Team will distribute 1,500 Buddy Poppies for faculty, staff, and students to wear the week of Memorial Day, May 25–29. Last year, the group gave out 1,000 poppies with more than 500 additional requests.

The Buddy Poppy movement was started by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization after World War I. It was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae, which describe the red poppies growing on a battle site where many soldiers are buried. Later, some poppies became a source of income opportunities for VFW offices. UT’s poppies are made by Tennessee veterans. Artificial poppies are often worn on Memorial Day and Veterans Day in the United States and on Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom.

Buddy Poppies at UT will be distributed on a card displaying “In Flanders Fields.” The Veterans Resource Team encourages campus faculty, staff, and students to keep the cards visible throughout the year to show support for UT veterans.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, more than 800 UT students received military benefits.

To request a poppy for yourself or for your office, contact Mary Mahoney at or 974-7791. If your office plans to request multiple poppies, please combine individual orders into one group order. The poppies will be delivered the week before the event.

The Task Force in Support of Student Veterans was established in the fall of 2011 to acknowledge the sacrifices of veterans and provide resources and support for veterans at UT and was housed in the Safety, Environment, and Education Center, now the Center for Health Education and Wellness. Last year the task force transitioned to the Veterans Resource Team. For more information about the Veterans Resource Team, contact VA Coordinator Jayetta Rogers at


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,