College of Nursing Celebrates Homecoming of UK Honor Flight Veterans, Major (RET.) Richard Krolikoski, BSN, 1976 Alumnus

Posted: May 15, 2017

On Saturday, May 20, UK became the first university in the nation to sponsor an Honor Flight, sending nearly 70 veterans on an all-expense paid trip to visit memorials in Washington, D.C. Many of the veterans on the flight are affiliated with UK, including alumni, retirees and family members of current UK faculty and staff.

The UK College of Nursing had several faculty, staff and students in attendance to celebrate these veterans, including Major (RET.) Richard Krolikoski, BSN, a 1976 alumnus of the College. Major Krolikoski was one of the first male students to graduate from the College of Nursing, and as a result often faced challenges with administrators who could not accept his desire to be a neonatal nurse.

Prior to coming to the College of Nursing, he served in the Air Force and was stationed in the northern mid-west. Wanting to escape the cold climate, UK was the southern-most school that accepted his application to nursing school. He re-enlisted in the Air Force after completing his degree and passing his boards. However, upon retiring, Major Krolikoski started his new career as a NICU nurse, working more than 20 years at Beverly Hospital in Massachusetts. The College of Nursing is proud of his achievements and his dedication to nursing through his generations donations as a scholarship donor.

“For more than a decade, the Honor Flight program has transported more than 100,000 veterans to Washington, D.C. and this flight marks the first such opportunity for a university to show its gratitude to our veterans for their service and sacrifice,” said President Eli Capilouto. “As the first university to sponsor such a flight, we’re honored to be able to provide this opportunity to many members of the UK family. Their service to the global cause of freedom is humbling, and the entire Big Blue Nation thanks them for their courage and patriotism.”

Veterans and their guardians, along with UK President Eli Capilouto, Veterans Resource Center Director Tony Dotson and Honor Flight Kentucky representatives boarded the flight from Lexington at 7:15 Saturday morning. 

While in D.C., World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans will visit the Iwo Jima Memorial (Marine Corps War Memorial), Women In Military Service For America Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, National World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and Air Force Memorial. The day will also include a bus tour of Capitol Hill.

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