Ask just about anyone when Christmas is and they most likely would promptly reply with Dec. 25. Halloween, Oct 31. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.
Yet if you were to ask when Veterans Day is, most either wouldn’t know, or would need some time to think about it.
Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. The WSU Vancouver Veterans Affairs program will host activities prior to the holiday, encouraging students to express their appreciation for veterans.
There are currently 350 veterans on the WSU Vancouver campus, according to Veterans Affairs Program Assistant Amy Eide. After serving the country you could imagine that any of these veterans would never need extra time to think about the holiday that honors their dedication and sacrifice for our country.
Throughout the week The Quad will be decorated with U.S. flags, bordering some of the most frequently used areas to raise awareness for the holiday.
From Nov. 1 to Nov. 8 the program will host a silent auction in the library. Students and faculty will have a chance to bid on baskets with prizes donated by local businesses and departments on campus. Prizes range from iTunes gift cards to Portland Spirit Cruise tickets. According to Eide, winning bidders will receive a free ticket to the Veterans Appreciation Brunch on Nov. 9. All other students can purchase tickets for $5 starting Nov. 6. Veteran faculty and staff can attend the brunch for free and should RSVP to Eide at Amy.email@example.com.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Veterans Club and Associated Students fund. Eide said club members are considering using the money to improve the Veterans Center with food, stationery and access to printing.
On Nov. 9 the Veterans program is hosting a brunch for student, faculty and staff veterans in the Firstenburg Student Commons. The program will provide vegetarian and vegan options. The brunch is from 10 a.m. to noon, featuring the chancellor along with alumni and student veteran speakers. Veteran Benji Stander will be bringing in the colors as a member of the color guard.
Stander is a 28-year-old sophomore at WSU Vancouver studying to be a doctor. He was born and raised in South Africa, but immigrated to the U.S. in 2008 when he was 19. He joined the U.S. Army in 2011, serving four years active duty as a line medic.
Stander explained that to him, Veterans Day means “people giving thanks to the things that we did—you signed the dotted line when your country needed you.” He said many people confuse Veterans and Memorial Day, and clarified that Veterans Day is about “celebrating and saying thanks.”
“Personally, I go out and thank veterans,” Stander said. “Especially the older generations, because they went through hell. A lot of us went through hell, they went through a literal hell.”
Friday morning students are invited to wrap up the week with a hike at Beacon Rock State Park. Students can register at The Annex and the first 12 students will be provided with transportation to the event site. For just $5 students can spend a day hiking, paddle boarding or playing lawn games in nature with fellow Cougs to celebrate Veterans Day weekend.
So whether you are placing a bid, taking a stroll or attending the brunch, be sure to thank a veteran for their service. And if asked when Veterans Day in the United States is, remember that it is always Nov. 11.