Second annual Veterans Day ceremony to take place Friday, Nov. 10
As you walk through Sweetheart Circle on Friday, Nov. 10, you might notice a flood of red, white and blue lining the walkway through the Circle. These 491 flags, representing each of the veteran and military students at Georgia Southern, signify the second annual Veterans Day ceremony at the University.
The Georgia Southern University Military and Veteran Student Center (MVSC) will host the Veterans Day ceremony on Friday at 9 a.m. on Sweetheart Circle. Guests are encouraged to arrive early for seating. If inclement weather should occur, the ceremony will take place in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room.
Master of Ceremonies, ROTC Cadet and military student advocate Woo Jung, will begin the celebration. The Georgia Southern Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform followed by speakers Maj. Jeremy Horstman and Staff Sgt. (Ret.) John Kitchens.
Horstman, program director for the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC), is a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard and has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was named 2017 Veteran Small Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Georgia District Office and continues to help VBOC grow at the University. Horstman was recently appointed Deputy Inspector General for the Georgia National Guard and currently serves as the Chief of Inspections at the Georgia Joint Force Headquarters.
Kitchens, a Purple Heart recipient, served in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed four times throughout his military career, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Statesboro native is a graduate of the Georgia Southern College of Business and a soon-to-be Double Eagle this December. Kitchens currently works as a graduate assistant in the Office of Career Services.
Freedom, the University’s live Bald Eagle mascot, is also expected to make an appearance.
Immediately following the ceremony, 13 members of the Student Veterans Association (SVA) will march 36 miles on foot to the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville, Georgia, and meet up with the Glennville Boy Scouts to place flags on the graves of fallen soldiers. This march, known as the “Ruck to Remember,” was developed by Erik Burkett, an Army veteran and the vice president of the SVA on campus.
“The ceremony is an annual ceremony meant to honor not only our veteran students, but also the faculty and staff who have served at Georgia Southern,” said Director of Military Affairs, Justin Williams. “It is our responsibility to not only remember the sacrifices of our veterans, but also to respect the freedoms that their sacrifices guaranteed.”
Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.