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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State honors Veterans Week

Meg Boles
San Marcos Academy Corp of cadets march at the Veteran’s Day Parade, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Downtown San Marcos.

Veteran’s Day celebrations kicked off early this year with week-long festivities all through the city recognizing Veteran’s bravery, sacrifices and achievements.

On Nov. 7, the Student Involvement and Engagement Department hosted the annual Veteran’s Day Commemoration Program where song performances, remarks and special recognitions were presented for members of the community, faculty & staff and students to enjoy.

Lt. Col. William B. Selber, who served in the United States Air Force, was the alumni keynote speaker for the program and shared his experience during his almost 20-year-long career.

“It is a little surreal because about 19 years ago, a young second lieutenant commissioned into the United States Air Force not too far from here,” Selber said. “ I was a little timid then, but I was excited to be joining the military.”

During his introduction, it was stated Selber recently completed a two-year assignment as the commander of the 451 Intelligence Squadron at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and next year will begin his own transition out of military service.

Selber shared the importance of talking about the loss of wars and sharing the truth behind the issues that may be difficult to speak up about.

“We have to open ourselves up and be vulnerable, tell our stories,” Selber said. “Not just the ones about bravery and gallantry, but also the ones about shame and humiliation and about the wars of war.”

Dr. Angelica Coronado, director and attorney for the Attorney for Students at TXST, attended the event and said it is important to acknowledge and recognize the efforts Veterans have given to protect their nation.

“They have given so much of their life in service to others and so have their families, my husband is actually a veteran,” Coronado said. “I have several family members who are veterans and currently are in the military.”

Veterans ride a parade float at the Veteran’s Day Parade, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Downtown San Marcos. (Meg Boles)

Coronado said Texas State hosting this annual event is a great way for the university as a whole to take time to honor this important event.

For the third consecutive year, Texas State was awarded the Veteran Education Excellence Recognition Award (VEERA) by the Texas Veterans Commission’s Veterans Education Program for its continued support towards student veterans and military connected students.

During the program, Texas State President Kelly Damphousse shared some remarks and recognized the continuous support towards the veteran population on campus by the variety of veteran programs available.

“The level of services we’re able to provide for our students is adjudicated by our Office of Veterans Affairs, our Veterans Advisory Council, the Veterans Academic Success Center and more,” Damphousse said. “We all work so hard to serve our veteran population.”

Research Coordinator for the College of Applied Arts, Alyssa M. Livernois, also attended the event and encouraged people to take a moment to reflect on how the sacrifices and efforts veterans have made is important.

“I, myself, live with a Marine Corps veteran, and it is very important to me to not only be a strong advocate for their rights every day,” Livernois said. “But also anticipate what they could look forward to in the future as well.”

Veteran Aaron Bamsch and his daughter, nursing freshman Mackenzie Bamsch, attended the program for the first time and talked about how it is important for families to have events such as the commemoration program to honor their loved one who have served.

“These men and women have fought for our country for years and they only get one day to celebrate, and although I think they need to be appreciated more, I am grateful for everyone who has served, including my dad,” Mackenzie said.

Aaron served in the military for 11 years and said he hopes the tradition of this holiday continues to grow.

“It is a great day to acknowledge all of those of us that have served and show appreciation for the sacrifices that we all have given for this country,” Aaron said.

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