On Nov. 11, students and faculty celebrated Veteran’s Day with a special National Role Call ceremony, chapel message and other activities to honor both Corban and non-Corban veterans.
While most students simply take the holiday as a day-off from school, Corban students and staff used it as a reminder of the men and women who have served this country. At Corban, veterans and families of veterans add to the ways the university community is making a difference for Christ in the world.
Throughout the day, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., students and staff gathered around the Corban flag pole to read aloud the names of 6,313 men and women killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The day began with a speech in the morning delivered by Army Maj. Steve Kariker, whose daughter Lindsey is enrolled at the ROTC program at Oregon State University, as well as at Corban.
“There are veterans in our midst. Today is a day to pause and reflect,” Kariker said. With a 25-year military career, Kariker served in Iraq in Operation Desert Storm and again in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as in Afghanistan.
Chapel’s special speaker was Sgt. Ben Olson, a marine and Corban student. Olson saw action in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He spoke about his experiences on the front line and how it affected him. He helped his audience see a glimpse of the horrors of war.
“God gave me the gift of being open about my experiences,” Olson told the audience. “I woke up one morning and thought, ‘I should talk to Pastor Dan about speaking in chapel on Veteran’s Day.’”
Not only was Veteran’s Day special to veterans themselves, but also to their family members. Corban student Tia Husk’s oldest brother was wounded last year in Afghanistan. She volunteered to read names at the Role Call.
“It was emotional because I have family in the military. A lot of people don’t know what it is like,” she said.
During his speech, Olson urged students to warmly welcome their veterans home whenever they have the opportunity. Because people who do not serve are so ignorant of what actually happens in Iraq, he said it is best to never thank them for their service, but to simply welcome them home and thank them for their sacrifices.
Students were able to do this by signing a large banner to welcoming troops back home to Oregon. The events at Corban were both meaningful and significant for many students – and provoked emotion and thought among the student body.