Veterans to be celebrated on campus

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    The Veterans Services Task Force and Student Veterans Alliance are teaming up to host events on campus to celebrate veterans from Nov. 8-15.

    The week of celebration will begin with a wreath-laying ceremony. The event will be at Veterans Plaza in front of Dave C. Reed Hall at 10 a.m. Nov. 8.

    “A veteran will lay the wreath at the memorial, and five roses will be placed on it to recognize each of the branches of the service,” said April Brown, former Marine and assistant director of intercultural services and veterans services. 

    “During the ceremony, there will be speakers from the Army ROTC, Air Force ROTC and Student Veterans Alliance,” Brown said.

    The second event will be the veterans’ celebration luncheon, scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Brown-Lupton University Union ballroom.

    Brown said 1st Lt. Alexandria Smith will be the guest speaker at the luncheon. Smith is an alumna who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and was also part of the Army ROTC program. She will speak about her experience as a leader in the military, her ROTC training and her deployment in Afghanistan, Brown said.

    At 11 a.m. Nov. 11, a moment of silence will be observed on the Sadler Hall lawn. This will be immediately followed by an event called “Walk with a Vet,” where participants will walk around campus with veterans.

    Brown said the walking route will start at the flagpole and follow the perimeter of the campus before ending at Veterans Plaza.

    “Chancellor Boschini will say a few words about the moment of silence, and Andy Lahey, a TCU student and marine, will play taps,” Brown said.

    There will also be a wall of honor in the BLUU and the library, and a veterans lounge in Scharbauer Hall 4045.

    At the wall of honor, people can place photos of veterans on the wall, leave messages and write letters to troops.

    Brown said the letters would be sent to a unit serving in Okinawa, Japan.

    “The veterans lounge will be a place where veterans and the community can visit with each other,” Brown said.

    She said there would be military-themed movies playing, board games, card games and refreshments available. There will also be a display of items loaned by veterans that have significant meaning for them.

    “I’m really excited about Veterans Celebration Week,” said LaQwen Nichols, a senior strategic communication major.

    Nichols served in the U.S. Army for 4 1/2 years as a paralegal specialist. During her service she was deployed to Iraq for one year.

    “Me being a veteran, it’s kind of weird because I don’t consider myself a veteran because I’m not doing stuff,” Nichols said. “I try to take the time to reflect on the people before me.”

    She said her grandfather served in the Vietnam War, and she likes to focus on people like him instead of focusing on herself.

    Essie Craft, a senior psychology major, served for five years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was deployed to Iraq for seven months and to Afghanistan for eight months.

    Craft said he is excited for veterans celebration week, and he is very happy the veteran population is growing on campus because they are important to the university.

    “A lot of times we don’t even realize how many veterans are around us on a daily basis,” first-year biology major Meredith Rose said.

    Rose said her grandfather is a veteran, and that she remembers going to the airport when she was younger to welcome home men and women serving in the armed forces.

    “I’m really grateful for the all the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving our country,” Rose said.