Veterans Day Observance to Feature Keynote by History Professor & Retired Colonel

November 7, 2017 at 10:45 am

The Student Veteran Organization at the University of South Carolina Upstate is spearheading a campus

Andrew Myers

event to honor vets at Veterans Day, and the group’s leadership hopes to have a large contingent of veterans in attendance, if not to recognize them officially, then to let them know their service is appreciated.

This year’s event will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 in L002/Tukey, and will feature a keynote address by Dr. Andrew Myers, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and professor of history at the University of South Carolina Upstate. There will also be a display of the flags of each branch of service, according to SVO member Chris Curtis, a USC Upstate senior and Army veteran.

Curtis said the organization has held an observance annually since its founding, and the events have generally been well attended by civilians – be they students, faculty or staff – but not well attended by veterans. Curtis said he’d like to see that change.

“Every year we just want to pay our respects to our veteran [student] body,” Curtis said. “The thing that we’re struggling with in our organization is that veterans who are coming back from active-duty service and coming to the University, they don’t want to be recognized. I think they want to detach themselves from their military service.”

Curtis said that mirrors studies that show that some veterans take years and even decades to open up about their service.

“We’re trying to reshape that logic,” he explained. “We’re not running [the group] like a military organization. We want to help and support our veterans, and the only way we’re going to do that is if the veterans come forward. We’re more about comradery than anything else. We want that spirit, that liveliness.”

Myers said with the University currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary, his presentation would include a discussion of a Vietnam War battle that was fought 50 years ago, also.

There is no cost to attend the event.