Jessilyn Dagum, Staff Writer
Among the several clubs on campus that hosted events to celebrate Black History Month, the Veterans’ Club commemorated this time of year by paying tribute to the important black men and women who currently serve and have served our country. “The event is to celebrate black history, in particular black veterans who were an integral part in the success of not only wars but the military and how they helped progress it,” states Samuel Bradford, Vice President of the Veterans’ Club, “Really, it’s just a social event. It’s to bring understanding and the community together and honor some amazing soldiers.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 21, the Veteran’s Club celebrated Black History Month by hosting an event in honor of famous and historically significant black veterans. At noon, on the second floor of Harned Hall, the club opened its usual biweekly meeting time to the Saint Martin’s community. While students, faculty, and staff enjoyed pizza and beverages provided by the Veterans’ Club, slides with facts and pictures of different black veterans was projected on a screen. Veterans such as the Buffalo Soldiers, black soldiers who mainly served on the western frontier following the American Civil War, and the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps (AAC), were paid a special tribute from the club through these slides along with several other men and women.
After thanks and honorable mentions from club representatives, the club’s treasurer, Patrick Duron, said a few words and gave a quick rundown of what the hour would entail. “Today is about honoring the service of African-American members within the military and bringing what they’ve done in the military to light as far as sharing it with some of our Veteran population and non-veteran population here within the school. As well as, encouraging selfless service within the non-veteran student population and bring a little bit of camaraderie amongst veterans and non-veterans,” said Duron.
The club’s vice president followed with other club business and announcements for members and those interested in joining. “As far as the future of the club, I want to do more inclusive events with the rest of the population. So look for future events with LGBQA, BSU, International Club and more. We’re looking at outreach programs in the future as well. Honestly, we’re just trying to get things going in a positive direction and I hope events like this as well as future events will let everybody see what we’re doing and that will drive up participation,” Bradford remarked. After different items and information was discussed, attendees were able to enjoy lunch and mingle amongst each other. The event also included two raffles with a variety of gift cards as prizes. “We’re all about giving back,” Bradford said as he distributed the prizes to the event’s lucky winners.
Upcoming events for the club include a suicide awareness event which the club is participating in called #EndtheStigma on April 4, and a Benefit Briefing event on April 18 that will cover different resources for veterans as well as have a Veteran Affairs representative present to answer any questions. “Come with your questions. This will be at time for you to present them and get you the information you need. If we can’t get you that information then we’ll get you to the right person who can,” stated Bradford.