In honor of Veterans Day, groups at University of Wisconsin came together Tuesday to participate in events including a flag raising ceremony at Camp Randall and the annual roll call on Bascom Hill.
The roll call event included members of the Veterans, Educators and Traditional Students organization, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs and volunteers, who held a minute of silence and read the names of every U.S. soldier who was killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
VETS connects military-affiliated UW students and graduates and acts as a social hub, according to Joe Rasmussen, a school certifying official for the Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center on campus.
The ROTC programs also participated in the university’s Diversity Forum by presenting the color guard at the event. The forum’s closing speaker was Marcia Anderson, who was the first African-American woman to reach the rank of major general in the United States Army Reserve.
Additionally, all the ROTC programs came together to put together a traditional flag raising ceremony at Camp Randall early Tuesday to honor veterans and active military serving men and women.
UW is home to three Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs: the Naval, Army and Air Force programs. It is uncommon to have all three at one school, Rasmussen said.
The center, which opened last May, serves student veterans, those currently serving in the military and their dependents.
The majority of the students the center helps are older than the average student at UW and have often served in the military before attending school, Rasmussen said.
“We help the veterans decide what is going to fit best for them benefit wise and reach out to students before they are admitted who are thinking about getting involved in the military,” Rasmussen said.
ROTC programs recruit, train and motivate students who strive to be candidates for future military service while attending classes full time, Captain Scott Paeth, the Recruiting Flight Commander of the Air Force ROTC, said.
They get an opportunity to see what the military is all about, and once they graduate, they usually go straight to active duty, he said.
“I compare the program to a minor or certificate program. The students take weekly classes, have physical training a few times a week and Leadership Laboratory,” he said.
VETS will be attending the volleyball game Thursday and the Badger women’s hockey game Friday for veteran appreciation nights, Rasmussen said.