Memorial Day is coming up, and the federal holiday is a time to commemorate the veterans who gave their lives for the country.
Steven Olson, the Vice President of the Student Veterans Association at Oregon State University, is also a military veteran himself, with just under five years of service with the army. Olson took the time to give a more clear definition of what Memorial Day is.
“Within the veterans community, Memorial Day is a moment for us to acknowledge and honor those who have sacrificed and given all,” Olson said, “Memorial Day is just kind of a moment for us, as a nation, to acknowledge and remember that what our nation is, has been created by folks that have given everything to us, including their lives.”.
Looking past the different events happening on Memorial Day, it can be good to understand the state of military affairs at OSU. A surprising amount of students here at OSU are also veterans themselves, whether they’re active or not.
“Here at Oregon State, we uniquely have the most amount of veterans of any institution in Oregon. We have around 760 active right now that go to school who are veterans using those benefits,” Olson said, “When you include e-campus and include dependents and spouses who are using their benefits who are a part of our community, you’re looking at just under 1,500. That’s over two percent of this campus total. Thankfully, we have an administrator who looks out for veterans on campus. His name is Willy Elfering, he works for the Office of Student Life, and he’s done a lot of great work helping student veterans.”
This past Friday, The Memorial Union held a ceremony to honor all OSU alumni who gave their lives in service to the country. If you would like to celebrate here on campus tomorrow, the LaSells Stewart Center is holding a concert to remember those who’ve fought and died for the United States, with the Willamette Valley Concert band performing. Admission is free, and the event will occur at 7 p.m.