Weber State University’s Veterans Services Office has been working hard to put together a Veterans Day celebration to honor veterans both on and off campus.
Jennifer Carver, a work study student in the office, has taken on a lot of the responsibility of making this Veterans Day memorable.
“This year’s Veteran Day event is going to be larger than any event in the years preceding it,” Carver said.
Carver was in the Army from 2002 to 2007 and has served in 11 countries, including Iraq. She said one of her biggest hopes is that everyone on campus will gain a better understanding of the veteran community.
“I truly hope those on campus who have never been around the military can see how important Veterans Day really is,” Carver said. “We honor those who serve, not because of the battles that were won or lost, not because of the rank they wear on their chest or shoulders and not because of the stories they have to tell, but because they offered up their lives to protect and defend the United States of America and the citizens who stand upon its soil.”
Carver said she hopes students will join together for the Fallen Soldier Ceremony to be held in the A1 parking lot this Friday.
“The Fallen Soldier Ceremony is the part that I have spent the most time on,” Carver said. “It is going to be a truly humbling ceremony to honor those we have lost. It is going to be something that WSU has never seen before.”
Wesley Whittington, who is also a work study student in the Veterans Affairs Office, was on active duty in the Marine Corps for four years. He served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Okinawa. His hope for Veterans Day on campus is that it will create more unity.
He said he hopes that the “event will help make the veterans feel humbled and welcome at WSU.”
Whittington said, “I hope that students will understand just what the veterans have gone through.”
Whittington, like Carver, is looking forward to the roll call of fallen soldiers.
“Names of fallen military members will be read, and I believe that is about the most satisfying event that will be taking place,” Whittington said. “To me, as a veteran, I feel this event will help preserve the memories of our fallen friends.”
Charlie Chandler, WSU Veterans Services coordinator, has also been involved in the planning.
Being a veteran himself, Chandler said he knows the importance of showing support for veterans. After 24 years in the Army and tours in Kosovo, Germany, Korea and several other places, Chandler said he is proud to say WSU is a veteran-friendly school. Chandler said he hopes the Veterans Day activities will promote camaraderie between veterans and students on campus.
Chandler said, “11/11/11 is kind of a big deal. We’ve got a full range of activities in the works.”
Students can expect Friday to begin with a single cannon round at 10 a.m. followed by a performance from the WSU band. Other activities will include the roll call of fallen soldiers, military color guard, 21-gun salute, jet flyover and second annual Nearly Naked Mile run.