Nov 11, 2008

Military appreciation week shifts into gear

by Josh Swanson

The students in the Liberty campus group Students Behind our Soldiers (SBS), led by Amanda Forth, will be conducting several events during Military Appreciation Week. The highlight of the events will be a Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter landing at the intramural field between David’s Place and North Campus. The helicopter will land at 12 p.m. and will stay until 4 p.m. on Thursday, courtesy of the Virginia Army National Guard.

Military Appreciation Week began on Monday, Nov. 10. SBS had a booth set up in front of the bookstore in DeMoss from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and former Marine and Vietnam War veteran Tim Lee addressed students in convocation. He suffered a land mine injury during the war that caused him to become a double-leg amputee.

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the Virginia National Guard is showcasing a gun truck and a weapons display outside of DeMoss near the fountain.

Originally, Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day. Armistice Day celebrated the end of World War I that ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

On June 1, 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day, according to The 83 U.S. Congress changed the name at the urging of veterans’ organizations. Veterans Day honors all veterans from all conflicts.

Forth credited Sergeant Pederson with helping her out with SBS.

“Sergeant Pedersen, our National Guard recruiter, has been one of the biggest helps. He supported me in what I was trying to do … he has been a great help and has been the one who got the Blackhawk, the gun truck, the rock wall and other things for Military Appreciation Week,” she said.

SBS sends care packages overseas to troops. The main goal of the group is to raise awareness and support for soldiers. There are currently over 30 students who meet monthly to help with SBS for Christian service hours. Forth would like to see the group grow to at least 75 people.

“Since most of my family was in the military I developed such a deep respect and passion for those serving that I wanted to make sure that people showed their support for them,” Forth said. “Most people don’t realize what it’s like to have to hug someone that you love and not know if they’re going to come home, and what kind of effects that has on the family.”

More information on the events for Military Appreciation Week can be found on the Liberty splash page.


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