Veterans Day Celebration will honor service


Military Student Affairs will host a Veterans Day Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall banquet rooms.

The goal of the event is to recognize and celebrate veterans on campus. There will be special recognition of students, staff and faculty who are past or current U.S. Forces members. Everyone is welcome to attend the event including family, friends and students.

“I’m looking forward to bringing staff, faculty and student veterans together all in one location,” said Military Student Affairs Director Bethany Alford. “Relationships will hopefully be built, and it will give veterans and students the opportunity to celebrate their armed forces experiences here at SVSU.”

The Army National Guard 1st battalion, 125th infantry regiment, headquartered in Saginaw, will perform the honor guard to open the event. At the celebration, there will be guests and speakers, featuring Douglas Szczepanski, a Purple Heart recipient who graduated from SVSU in 2011. A suicide bomber in Baghdad, Iraq injured Szczepanski in 2005. He hopes to share lessons with his peers, and he has also started a non-profit, Miracle Soldier Inc.

“We’re really pleased to be having the 1st battalion 125th regimen performing our honor guard, it should make for a special moment,” Alford said. “We want to make sure that this event is for everyone to come celebrate veterans on this day.”

Also speaking at the event is Conrad Dowe, an SVSU student and a Cardinal Military Association member. Dowe will speak on his transition from the Marine Corps to civilian life as a college student. Throughout the course of the Veteran’s Day Celebration, there will be a slideshow featuring pictures of staff and students while they were serving in the armed forces.

Other activities that will be taking place are a patriotic performance by SVSU’s Encore and a cake cutting reception.

Today, the winner of the Veterans Day essay contest will be revealed. Military Student Affairs and the SVSU Writing Center asked students around campus to participate, and the winner receives a $100 prize for their efforts.

Approximately 50 essays were received. The winning 200-word essay about “What Veterans Day means to me” will be read at the event.

At the conclusion of the event, ribbons will be handed out to current military members and veterans.

In addition to the celebration, Cardinal Military Association will be putting additional emphasis on Veterans Day throughout the week.

Paper flags with insignias can be signed at the Military Student Affairs office as a “thank you” to those who have served.

“The flags are being used to recognize and thank veterans and current military members for their service,” said Krystina Golimbieski, the Cardinal Military Association president and a former service member. “I’m excited to see the celebration come together and hopefully draw a lot of people to the event to recognize our service members.”

The paper flags will be displayed from Nov. 6-13 between the Military Student Affairs office and The Valley Vanguard office located in Curtiss Hall.