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Archive for Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week full of events to honor veterans

November 4, 2012

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KU Veterans Week schedule

Tuesday

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Information table on Wescoe Beach — Representatives from campus groups will offer details about services for veterans on campus. Visitors can also donate items for a care package or sign a KU flag to be sent to a student currently serving in Afghanistan.

Wednesday

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Information table on Wescoe Beach

7 p.m.: Boots to Backpacks panel discussion, Malott Room in Kansas Union — A panel of female veterans will discuss their military experiences; sponsored by Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity

Thursday

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: Information table on Wescoe Beach

7 p.m.: Free screening of Afghanistan War documentary “Restrepo,” KU Visitor Center, 15th and Iowa streets

Friday

10:30 a.m.: Marine Corps birthday celebration, Dole Institute of Politics

5 p.m.: ROTC retreat ceremony in front of Strong Hall

Saturday

Noon: ROTC begins 24-hour vigil at campus war memorials

3 p.m.: Walking tour of campus memorials, starting at Campanile. Includes wreath-laying ceremonies

Sunday, Veterans Day

9 a.m.: KU Veterans Day Run, South Park

Veterans day run

l 9 a.m. Sunday, South Park, 1141 Massachusetts St.

• Entrance fees: $35 for 10K race, $30 for 5K or for 1-mile walk around South Park (all fees increase by $10 after Thursday)

• 10K and 5K routes both run onto KU campus, past war memorials

• Proceeds split between Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund and Operation Jayhawk Honor

• Register at kualumni.org/kuvetsrun. Call KU Alumni Association, 864-4760, with questions.

Veterans Day is Sunday, and military-related groups at Kansas University are doing more than ever to mark the occasion.

KU students and staff have a weeklong slate of events lined up to honor and reach out to veterans, culminating with a bigger-than-ever Veterans Day Run on the morning of Nov. 11.

This is the second year that KU’s Collegiate Veterans Association has planned a full week of events leading up to Veterans Day, said KU senior Jake Robinson, who serves as president of the student group.

And it’s the fourth year the CVA has sponsored a fundraising run on the morning of the holiday. But this year, the newly created Veterans Chapter of the KU Alumni Association is also helping with the event, and it’s set to expand as its starting spot moves off campus to South Park.

This year’s run will include a 10-kilometer option for more ambitious runners, and organizers are expecting more than 300 runners, compared with the 60 to 100 people who have taken part in past years.

“It’s grown this year. We’re hoping next year it’s even larger,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Randy Masten, assistant director for KU’s Office of Graduate Military Programs and one of the run’s organizers.

Masten said this year’s run would be bolstered by Army majors studying at Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff College, with about 100 planning to volunteer and another 100 running in the race.

This year’s run will raise funds for two new KU Endowment funds:

• Operation Jayhawk Honor, an effort begun by the Collegiate Veterans Association to fund regular maintenance of some of the war memorials on the KU campus: the Campanile (a World War II memorial) and the Korean War and Vietnam War memorials.

• The Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund, which will provide scholarships for student veterans with a combat-related injury, or spouses, caregivers or children of an injured veteran or a service member killed in the line of duty.

KU Endowment helped CVA create the memorial maintenance fund after KU spent more than $100,000 on repairs and maintenance of the memorials in 2011.

Though the memorials are in better shape now, Robinson said, the hope is that the new fund will help them stay that way.

“We just wanted to make sure that there was always money available to do those little things that need to be done along the way,” Robinson said.

The CVA will provide a walking tour of the memorials at 3 p.m. Saturday, starting at the Campanile, including a wreath-laying ceremony at each one.

The Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund, created with the help of the Graduate Military Programs office, has accumulated about $150,000 in donations so far, Masten said. It will begin to provide scholarships in fall 2013, Masten said, but the amount will depend on how much more is raised before then, through the run and other means.

The run will start and finish at South Park, winding through the KU campus past each of its war memorials in between.

Robinson said other events during the week will be aimed at reaching out to veterans on campus who haven’t connected with groups or services available to them, as well as making other students more aware of the veterans who sit alongside them in class.

A screening of the Afghanistan War documentary “Restrepo,” at 7 p.m. Thursday at the KU Visitor Center, will help educate students about what some of their veteran classmates have been through. And people from several campus organizations will be in front of Wescoe Hall throughout the week to offer information about services for veterans.

“A lot of them come back and they don’t really know that there’s a veterans group or all these different support structures,” Robinson said.

According to the KU Veterans Services office, about 360 students are currently receiving veteran benefits at KU.

KU’s ROTC battalions will also pitch in with the Veterans Week events. They will hold a retreat ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday around the flagpole in front of Strong Hall and take part in 24-hour vigils at each of the campus war memorials starting at noon Saturday.

Other area events

Several other area groups are planning Veterans Day events to honor those who have served our country:

• Lawrence chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans are teaming up to celebrate the day at 11:11 a.m. Sunday, at the American Legion Building, 3408 W. Sixth St. Ceremonies will include guest speakers, a presentation honoring deceased soldiers, a 21-gun salute, a performance of taps as well as food and refreshments afterward.

• The city of Leavenworth will host a Veterans Day Parade at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Leavenworth. The parade will begin at Fourth and Cherokee streets.

• The city of Ottawa will have a weekend’s worth of activities. At 6:30 p.m. Friday at Forest Park, 600 N. Locust St., there will be a Field of Flags, with a display of 700 flags. Volunteers are still needed to help carry some of the flags. On Saturday there will be a parade at 10:45 a.m., beginning at First and Walnut streets. Following the parade there will be display booths and re-enactments. Anyone interested in participating in the Ottawa events or with questions should contact Sherry Wright at 785-418-4237 or email blueangelks47@yahoo.com.

Adam Strunk contributed to this story.

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