Texas A&M University, noted for its long and rich military history, will observe Veterans Day Friday (Nov. 11) with various events, along with some starting Wednesday, that will honor Aggie veterans and current military personnel and also those who made the ultimate war-time sacrifice.

Many of the activities are being coordinated by Texas A&M’s Veteran Resource & Support Center, which serves more than 1,200 current or former members of the military now enrolled at the university.

“Remembering the service and sacrifice of our veterans and being ‘veteran friendly’ is special for Aggies; it’s not something we should do, it’s who we are,” says Col. Gerald “Jerry” Smith (USMC- Ret.), the center’s director. “At the intersection of our core values, our heritage, and our vision, we find a foundational Aggie principle: Serve well those who have served.”

Friday activities will be highlighted by Senator John Cornyn and Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning participating with five of the currently enrolled veterans in a policy-oriented roundtable discussion at 10:30 a.m. at the Sanders Corps Center. The roundtable, moderated by Col. Smith, will focus on veterans transitioning to college life.

Senator Cornyn and Secretary Fanning will also meet later in the day with Gen. Mark Welsh, dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

The senior senator for Texas will conclude his Veterans Day activities by joining in a Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial ceremony at 5 p.m. at Veterans Park in the Louis L. Adam Memorial Plaza of Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.

Veterans and current members of the armed forces also will be honored at the Aggies-Ole Miss football game Saturday evening at Kyle Field. Special recognition will be afforded to members of Combat Marine Outdoors, an organization made up of severely wounded Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Navy Corpsmen. The group, hosted by the Veteran Resource & Support Center in cooperation with Texas A&M Athletics, will be honored on the playing field during the third quarter of the game and also have the opportunity to visit with fellow veterans at the Student Veterans Association tailgate in Spence Park.

“Texas A&M football is the only collegiate event shared with these fine heroic warriors to make sure that they understand that their service and sacrifice to our country are deeply appreciated,” notes Sgt. Maj. Donald Freeman (U.S. Army-Ret.), veterans affairs program and outreach coordinator for the Veteran Resource & Support Center.

Veterans Day-related activities begin Wednesday with the Dixie Chicken Tribute Walk, from the Chicken to the Memorial Student Center, which will be held twice daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Friday, and a Passport Caravan, enabling veterans who never had a passport to get a free one, will be held in the Study Abroad Office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Texas Workforce Solutions “Red, White and YOU” hiring fair will be held Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3991 E. 29th Street in Bryan. Also on Thursday, the Marine Corps Birthday Breakfast will be held Room 112 of the Koldus Building on campus, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

A Veteran’s Day brunch is set for 8:30 a.m. Friday in Room 205 of the Pavilion.

To honor veterans, especially Aggie veterans, the Corps of Cadets will conduct a wreath-laying ceremony on the Corps Plaza at 11:11 a.m. Friday, with Secretary Fanning joining in. The ceremony begins on the 11th day, 11th hour and 11th minute when the World War I Armistice was signed. Wreaths will be placed at the Spanish-American War, WWI and post-WWII memorials located on the Corps Plaza. A 21-gun salute by the Ross Volunteers will follow the wreath laying and will be concluded by the playing of Taps. The ceremony is open to the public.

The Bush School and its Public Service Organization (PSO) is honoring veterans with a Veteran’s Wall, created to recognize the military service of students, faculty and staff. The wall is currently on display and features photos of each active service member and veteran along with their name and a brief bio and is located in the center of the Bush School. The PSO will also host a “Write A Letter To A Soldier” booth on Thursday for students to write letters to military members that will be forwarded to soldiers overseas. The group has adopted the 36th Infantry Division in Afghanistan and plans for the letters to reach the men and women in that unit before the Christmas holidays.

Opened in 1876, Texas A&M has served student veterans since 1919 and is a national leader in providing support for its students who are veterans or current attending university on an active-duty basis, along with military dependents and survivors. The university has eight Medal of Honor recipients among its former students.

USA Today has cited Texas A&M as the best institution in the country for providing services to veterans transitioning into civil service careers following their military service.

For more information, go to http://aggieveterans.tamu.edu/


Media contact: Keith Randall, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4644 or keith-randall@tamu.edu