The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services at Stony Brook University kicked off the Memorial Day weekend with a wreath-laying ceremony on May 26 to honor those who have given their lives serving the country. The event took place at the main entrance of the university.
Coordinator of Military and Student Veteran Services Jane York ‘19, a U.S. Navy veteran, addressed the gathering and said Stony Brook has more than 150 student veterans attending classes each day, with faculty and staff members who have also served in our nation’s military.
“The men and women who have died for our country represent the diverse patchwork that is the United States of America and they come from every ethnicity, background and political spectrum,” York said. “They looked like any one of us, and their common characteristic is that they all took an oath to give their lives for the United States.”
York also recognized Gold Star family members in attendance.
“We have Gold Star family members walking our campus who have endured the loss of a loved one to protect our country,” she said. “We do not forget the military heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice whether an hour or a century ago. We at Stony Brook are dedicated to preserving the memory of our fallen heroes and declare our unending gratitude and support for their families.”
America’s Gold Star Families is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide honor, hope and healing to those grieving any military loss through active-duty service in the United States Armed Forces, including all branches of service representing all conflicts.
Stony Brook student, Army veteran, and Veteran Students Organization (VESO) Vice President Eric Mitchell hung the wreath. After a moment of silence, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Marine Corps veteran Jonah Torres, a student at the Institute for Energy Sustainability and Equity at Stony Brook. Both Mitchell and Torres are student staff members at the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services.
Stony Brook’s Office of Military and Veteran Student Services supports the military and student veterans population and works directly with these students and their dependents to help them navigate through higher education. The office also assists students in completing the necessary paperwork and helping them manage the transition to life as a student at Stony Brook.
– Robert Emproto