SIUE honors veterans in second annual tribute

SIUE honored the thousands of men and women who have served their country with its second annual Veterans Tribute event held Nov. 4-6.

There are roughly 600 veterans on campus, according to political science department chair Denise DeGarmo, and because SIUE is “touted as a military friendly university,” she said it is important to recognize “the efforts of those so willing to give to their country through service.”

“Veterans often go unnoticed and don’t always know where help is available,” DeGarmo said. “So not only do we honor those that served, we provide information about outreach programs that might be of assistance.”

A change from last year’s event was the addition of an “education component,” according to DeGarmo.

“Rather than having individuals discussing their experiences in the midst of displays, we used the International Room [in the Morris University Center] to host four different educational presentations about service, Vietnam, post traumatic stress syndrome and preservation and education efforts,” DeGarmo said.

One highlight of the event, according to DeGarmo, was the Illinois Patriot Wall.

“It is touching and moving,” DeGarmo said. “You can see the faces of those individuals who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and lost their lives doing so.”

DeGarmo said the idea for a veterans tribute occurred from “bouncing program ideas around” about two years ago with Cheryl Brunsmann, assistant director of community education programs.

“We were also struck by how many veterans SIUE had on campus and the lack of a tribute to honor them during Veterans Day,” DeGarmo said.

The event was organized by Peace and International Studies, Political Science, ROTC and Educational Outreach. ROTC students assisted with set-up and take-down of the displays, according to DeGarmo. A planning committee was created last spring inviting organizations and veterans to help organize the event.


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