We salute the men who fight for our freedoms overseas. We respect them and honor them. We pray for them and send encouragement and we so often forget about their wives, fiancées and families. One club on campus is trying to change that.
Silent Ranks with a Vision (SRV) was started last April by Amanda Daugherty, who is a military fiancée herself. She said her own experience is what motivated her to start the club.
“I went through my first deployment I went through my first deployment with my fiancée from August 09-July 10. It wasn’t until my friend had her husband deployed in January that I actually felt like I had someone who completely understood,” Daugherty said. “While I wouldn’t wish deployment on anyone it always helps to have others going through the same thing at the same time and in a place as big as LU that is sometimes hard to find.”
Daugherty said that one of the biggest challenges military wives and fiancées face during deployment times is being alone. While there are many military wives and fiancées on campus, meeting each other can be a challenge, especially since most live off campus.
“The purpose of SRV is to help women serve other women who are in need, whether that need be emotional or spiritual,” Daugherty said. SRV brings women together and allows them to meet with other women going through similar situations, helping to ease the loneliness.
Mandi Verlander is the staff advisor for SRV. She has a passion to give back to our military and their family members and has been involved since the group began last spring. According to Verlander, the Fall 2010 semester for SRV will include events such as monthly Bible studies, volunteering at soup kitchens and other community-building events.
One of the hardest challenges for this new club has been spreading the word. Daugherty said that Military Affairs is able to email military students about the group, but there is no compiled list to email the spouses and fiancées. Up to this point, SRV has been relying on flyers and word-of-mouth.
“You simply have to keep passing out flyers and continue talking to anyone who will listen,” Daugherty said.
The long-term goal of the group is to support the community as well as supporting military spouses and fiancées. Daugherty said she appreciates that this group will help women find others who can support them in hard times, as well as benefit the community.
The Liberty community has received this new club with warm enthusiasm. The other military clubs, Students Behind our Soldiers and the Student Veterans Club, welcome Silent Ranks with a Vision.
“Military personnel, spouses, and fiancées love the idea because they all see the need for a club like this,” Daugherty said. “Many times the ones left at home are the ones who are overlooked the most and I think the military community at Liberty appreciates that the families are now getting the support that they too need.”
“SRV is open to any students who are fiancé’s or spouses of military members,” Verlander said. “Any student who wants to get involved in just supporting our military can get involved with one of the other military student groups who works alongside SRV, called Students Behind our Soldiers (SBS).”