Military Emphasis Week kicks off

Honoring service — Sparky poses with military personnel at Saturday’s football game against VMI, at which there was a Halftime Tribute to our nation’s heroes. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

They fight for freedom, sacrifice endlessly and somehow find time to fit in a quality education. Liberty University military students and veterans are being honored for an entire week this year in what the Office of Military Affairs calls Military Emphasis Week.

This seven day event kicked off last week, Saturday, Nov. 5, with the military appreciation game against Virginia Military Institute (VMI) put on by Liberty University’s athletic department. The week will round off with a trip to the National D-Day Memorial this upcoming Saturday, Nov. 12.

Military Emphasis Week strategically encompasses Veterans Day, which takes place Friday, Nov. 11, this week year.

Emily Foutz, the director of Military Affairs, said that Military Emphasis Week is meant to help raise awareness of all the sacrifices that veterans make in order to serve the country.

“So many times we take them (the soldiers) for granted and we don’t know how service affects their lives and their families’ lives,” Foutz said.

The Office of Military Affairs, according to their website, helps those students who are currently in the military or who have had some involvement with the military in the past handle their benefits for service. In the past, this week long event was encapsulated into one day.

Now, according to Foutz, the event includes several events meant to increase awareness of military happenings and the dedicated servicemen around Liberty University students.

This year, events include a special convocation with guest speaker Lieutenant General William G. Boykin, a military panel from the pentagon at the Liberty University School of Law and a dessert reception sponsored by the Concerned Women for America for current individuals in the military, as well as veterans.

According to Foutz and Kati Edinger, the military coordinator for the Office of Military Affairs and the faculty advisor for student groups supporting the military such as Students Behind Our Soldiers (SBS), Student Veterans Group (SVS) and Silent Ranks with a Vision (SRV), Liberty University’s Office of Military Affairs ranked number two in the Best for Vets survey for online and nontraditional colleges put on by Military Times Edge every year.

“I shouted for joy yesterday. I was very excited. We’ll be number one next year,” Edinger, who served in the Navy for 20 years as a paralegal, said.

According to Foutz, other departments at Liberty also help run Military Emphasis Week and help get students interested. Other than the athletic department, which put together the VMI military appreciation game, the psychology department, according to both Edinger and Foutz, is having Major General Robert F. Dees grace the halls to provide special training regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how to help those veterans suffering from it. This free event takes place in DeMoss Hall room 1114 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10.

For more information regarding the events taking place during Military Emphasis Week, students are encouraged to check out the Office of Military Affairs’ website at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *