By Taelor Duckworth
The 2013 Veteran’s Vigil will be held Nov. 6 and 7 at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Beginning on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in the Rayburn Student Center Conference Room, a vigil flame will be lit and will continuously burn until it is extinguished at the closing ceremonies on Thursday at 4:30 pm.
What began as a ceremony given by the Air Force ROTC unit on campus in 1949 has turned into a time-honored tradition put on by the university. Each year the A&M-Commerce Veteran’s Vigil is held to recognize the prisoners of war (POW) and soldiers missing in action (MIA) from a particular branch or section of the United States military. The Vigil site is located on the walking mall in front of the Rayburn Student Center, and there will be a guard posted on site. Volunteer guards usually serve in one-hour shifts for as many or few shifts as they choose. If you’d like to know how to become a volunteer guard, contact the Veterans and Military Services Office at 903-886-5123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Veteran’s Vigil is a way for us to pay homage to those veterans and their families that have sacrificed for our country,” said Jessica Gossett, co-chair of the Vigil. “It is particularly special to me because I have so many family members that have served or are serving now. I’ve also been very fortunate to work with our veterans on campus for the past three years. Each and every student that I’ve meet over these years holds a special place in my heart, and I have a great respect for them. I’d like to encourage everyone to take a few minutes out of your schedule to come by the vigil site and pay your respects to those men and women who have served our great nation.”
For the last 21 years, the university has honored the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country through the Vigil by highlighting the branches, troops, families, or wars of the fallen. This year’s Veteran’s Vigil would like to honor all of the disabled veterans who sacrificed limbs and physical abilities to ensure our freedom.
The Veteran’s Reception will begin Nov. 6 at 9:30 am in the RSC followed by the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. At 2:30 p.m., the Student Veteran Association is hosting a 5K run on the cross country trail. On Thursday, the SVA will be taking $10 per bike for a motorcycle run at 1:30 pm. The closing ceremonies will take place on the walking mall of the RSC. Also, from Nov. 6 through the 11, veterans will receive a 10 percent discount in the RSC bookstore on clothing, supplies, or gifts with their military ID or veteran status proof.
“We are really looking forward to this year’s Veteran’s Vigil and honoring the disabled veterans,” said Paige Bussell, chair of the Veteran’s Vigil. “The committee has been working hard to make this year’s event a success to ensure we show our appreciation to our veterans both on and off campus. We would love to see everyone come out and participate.”
For more information on the Veteran’s Vigil or activities, contact Jessica Gossett at Jessica.Gossett@tamuc.edu or 903-886-5069. If you require ADA accommodations, please contact Jessica two weeks prior to the event.