UO celebrates service with Veterans Appreciation Week

Student veterans salute at 2015 spring football game

The University of Oregon will celebrate its veterans this month during Veterans Appreciation Week, offering family outings, information tables and the chance to help support veterans and their families.

The week runs Nov. 6–10 with events at locations around campus. The celebration is sponsored by the veterans program, Veterans and Family Student Association and the Office of the President.

The run of events includes a free brunch for student veterans provided by the student veterans association, a miniature golf and laser tag excursion for veterans and their families and a weeklong service project called “Operation Toiletries.”

The mission of the week is to “honor the fact that we have veterans on campus and that they have unique strengths and world experience that they bring to our classrooms and staff positions,” said Samantha Roberts, the veterans program coordinator.

From Monday through Thursday, the Student Veterans Center, Peer Advisors for Veteran Education and Veterans and Family Student Association will have tables on the Erb Memorial Union terrace to let people know about Veterans Appreciation Week.

While there, they will collect toiletries both on the EMU terrace and in the Student Veteran Center, located in Room 15 on the northeast side of the first floor of the student union. The items will be donated to St. Vincent De Paul’s Supportive Services for Veterans Families.

Toiletries can include items like soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, razors, shaving cream, tampons, toilet paper, bags, nail trimmers, nail files or other toiletries.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. student veterans can get free brunch provided by veteran and family group in the Student Veterans Center.   

Thursday, student veterans and their families are encouraged to participate in a community night of pizza, laser tag and miniature golf at Eugene Game Central. Limited spots are available, but Roberts said those who miss the RSVP deadline on Nov. 3 should get in touch, and they will be included on a case-by-case basis.

The week will end with a Veterans Day ceremony Friday between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Gerlinger Lounge. The theme this year is unity of commitment honoring the services and sacrifices of the veteran community.

The ceremony will include a keynote address from Joelle Rankins Goodwin, senior associate director for recruitment administration. The event is sponsored by the Office of the President.

“We want to make sure that by providing these events veterans on campus know that they are welcome, that they are needed,” Roberts said. “This is our way of honoring you, not only as a veteran, but as a member of our community.”

By Matt Gatie, University Communications