MU Veteran's week kicks off

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COLUMBIA- The University of Missouri and City of Columbia are preparing for a week honoring and celebrating veterans who have served or are currently serving in the United States military.

“It’s an opportunity to show the veterans and military community how much we appreciate what they do for us in service to this country,” said MU’s Director of Veterans Center Robert Ross.

The week shines a special spotlight on the MU veterans who have served and those who plan to serve in the future.

“A lot of people take for granted what it means to be a veteran and all the things that people that have been in the military a long time, have to go through and the struggles that come along with being a veteran,” said Cadet Jonathon Weischedel.

“It definitely hits home with me, to really stop and think about other veterans that are out there and what they’ve put on the line for us,” he said.

Starting on Nov. 4, MU’s ROTC cadets and midshipmen will preform a vigil near the war memorials at the Boone County Courthouse. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a detail marching every hour.

On Nov 5., the Annual Veterans Day Parade takes place in downtown Columbia. The parade will start at the MU Columns and travel along eighth street to the Boone County Courthouse.

Boone County veterans and commemorative organizations will be participating in the parade.

The parade, which is led by the Air Force ROTC, starts at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed with a ceremony held at the courthouse.

This is the first year the University is providing Green Zone Training. The training provides faculty members with an appreciation of challenges faced by student veterans while aiming to build stronger connections between the two groups.  

Student veterans will be sharing their experiences on campus during the panel on Nov 6.

“Being a veteran, what it brings to the table, is I’m able to really share with a lot of the students, the younger kids who are coming up, my experiences and try to help prepare them for what they are going to be going through once they actually get into the army,” Weischedel said.

Community members and students are invited to write letters of appreciation and gratitude to veterans at Columbia’s Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran Hospital on Nov. 7 and Nov 9.

This event takes place at Memorial Union and the Student Center.  

On Nov. 8., Medal of Honor Recipient Captain Florent Groberg will be speaking about his experience in Afghanistan at Jesse Hall.  

“Captain Groberg has a dynamic personality and I think anyone who attends that will come away with a good sense of what it means to serve and to sacrifice on behalf of this country,” Ross said.

People will also be able to learn more about the challenges affecting those who served in the Gulf War and the War on Terror during the annual Veterans Clinic Symposium. The symposium will have a presentation by Gulf War Veteran Christopher W. Dunn and will take place at MU’s Law School.

On Friday, the annual Veterans Day Wreath Laying Ceremony will honor veterans at MU and in the community.

“It’s a somber occasion where we recognize those who have actually made the actual sacrifice, those who have died in the line of duty in service to our country,” Ross said. 

The event begins at the Memorial Tower on campus. According to a press release “the Remembrance Day National Roll Call will occur to remember those who, as President Lincoln described, 'gave their last full measure of devotion' while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The ceremony will conclude with a national minute of silence at 1 p.m. to honor the fallen soldiers.

Ross said the University of Missouri does a good job supporting its veterans. Starting next semester, veterans will have priority registration. 

The week of honor ends on Nov. 11 at this year’s Military Appreciation football game vs Tennessee.

Ross said there are a number of ways students and community members can say “thank you” to a veteran throughout this week.  

“I would say just if you know a veteran, let them know how much you appreciate what they do and just be as supportive as you can” Ross said. “We don’t ask for much; we just ask to be considered as another member of society who is trying to do what’s right.”