BHSU to place flags on campus green to honor student veterans

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, November 6, 2014/Categories: 2014

Steve Weir, mass communications major from Belle Fourche, places a flag in the campus green at Black Hills State University, while his dog, Boo, looks on. Weir, who serves as president of the Yellow Jacket Vets Club, and other student veterans will place 200-plus American flags on the campus green Monday to honor the student veterans at BHSU for Veteran's Day.

The campus green at Black Hills State University will be transformed into a sea of red, white and blue as 200-plus American flags will be placed to honor student veterans for Veteran's Day.

The Yellow Jacket Vets Club will be placing flags on the BHSU campus green on Monday afternoon. Each flag will represent a student veteran on campus.

"The club wanted to bring to light the number of students that are veterans on the campus," said Fred Nelson, director of networking and computer services at BHSU and a veteran, himself. "And because it is Veteran's Day, it's a way to honor our student veterans."

This past year BHSU saw a 22 percent increase in veteran or veteran dependent students. Over a five-year time period there has been a 76 percent increase in veteran students.

In addition to placing flags on the campus green, BHSU President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., has invited all veterans on campus and in the community to a special luncheon honoring their service from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12 in the President's Conference Room in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union.

"Many don't realize student veterans are in their classes or they are sitting beside them. They aren't in uniform," Nelson said. "People are not aware how many students are veterans."

Steve Weir, mass communications major from Belle Fourche and Yellow Jacket Vets Club president, spearheaded the project with Carollynn Morris, business administration-marketing major from Sturgis and vice president of the student veterans club.

"This is just something dear to my heart," Weir said. "As a veteran you forge friendships that you just don't find anywhere else."

Weir served in the Army National Guard for three years before returning to college to earn a degree.

He said he hopes to send an important message to his fellow student veterans at BHSU.

"Stand up and be recognized," Weir said. "Move on with your life and don't let the past keep you from completing your goals."

"Veterans have so much to share with the experiences they've encountered and the places they've traveled," Nelson said. "They contribute to the community on campus by adding that little bit of extra information in classes and social life on campus."

Nelson said the goal is to expand next year and honor student veterans as well as staff and faculty veterans.

BHSU has repeatedly been recognized nationally for their service to military students. The University was recently named to the 2015 list of Military Friendly Schools by Victory Media for the fifth consecutive year. BHSU has also been named to the Military Times "Best for Vets: Business Schools" in 2013 and 2014. It has also made the Military Times "Best for Vets: Colleges" for two years in a row.

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