You may have seen some familiar folks decked out in dog tags and combat boots this past Friday.
Because Corban didn’t officially observe Veterans Day on Monday, the national holdiay, a few students took it upon themselves to honor our troops. According to Jeff Benjamin, director of international student support, 33 students make up the school’s student military community. Sixteen of them served and are retired from active duty. Some of the students showed up in their military gear seeking to bring attention to the holiday, and more importantly, to the sacrifice veterans have made and are making.
When Ben Olson, who was a U.S. Marines sergeant, realized the school had no events scheduled on the holiday, he suggested the idea of dressing in uniform to the military community on campus. He wanted them to stand as a “living memorial to the guys that didn’t come home and are still overseas.”
“It was the best we could do to honor our brothers. The people over there aren’t these nameless, faceless people. They’re someone’s father, brother or boyfriend, who isn’t coming home,” said Olson
Andrew Holbert, who worked point for a foot mobile team, thinks it’s “sad and solemn” that the student body didn’t observe Veterans Day together.
Corban vets aren’t the only ones that felt like more needed to be done.
“I feel like we should do something. A lot of schools don’t have class, and because we do, I think we should do something, whether that means having a special chapel or having them speak in class,” said Ruth Palfenier.
As the men went about their normal routine in uniform on Friday, many students didn’t know how to react, said Holbert.
“They don’t care. They stared right through me. It’s sad, but it’s not about me and Andrew; it’s about the people that are dying,” added Olson.
However, Jeff Benjamin noted that the school is observing the holiday by watching “Act of Valor” in the Emitte Center at 5:45 p.m tonight, Nov. 13. Professor Eric Straw will start the night, since he served six patrols on the U.S.S. Florida, which has a cameo appearance in the movie. “He’ll help to frame why honoring Veteran’s Day matters to our country and our institution,” according to the Corban Clips.
The school has also been reaching out to veterans on campus in many other ways such as connecting them with a Corban alumnus Terry Howell, who wrote the book “The Military Advantage” and throwing a barbeque early on in the semester to connect the student with one another.