Hofstra University is hosting several events on November 10 and 11 in honor of Veterans Day:
Thursday, Nov. 10, 5:30-6:15 pm: Members of the Society of Public Health Advocates and Future Healthcare Leaders graduate student organizations will take part in the social media “22 push-up challenge” to bring awareness to the crisis of veteran suicide. They will meet at the Hofstra Dome, North Campus, and speakers will include student veterans who will talk about how they dealt with the stress of re-entering civilian life.
Friday, Nov. 11, 2 pm: The Hofstra Panhellenic Council will host a special commemoration ceremony in front of Hofstra Hall featuring a ROTC color guard and remarks by Lt. Colonel Daniel L. Cederman, professor and chair of the Department of Military Science.
Friday, Nov. 11, 3-4:30 pm: The Pride Student Veterans Organization (PSVO) will be in the Student Center atrium collecting donations for a care package drive that will provide nonperishable goods to troops deployed overseas during the holidays.
Donation boxes are also available now through early December in the Mack Student Center, Axinn Library lobby, and Maurice A. Deane School of Law lobby. The PSVO is seeking items such as canned foods with pop-up lids, flavored water packs, magazines and snacks in addition to personal hygiene products such as deodorant, shaving cream, disposable razors, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
The group is also enlisting campus clubs to help write personalized letters and holiday cards that can be delivered to service members.
“We’re now out of the military but we still have a connection to our brothers and sisters who are there,” said Eric Schmidt’17, who served four years in the U.S. Air Force before coming to Hofstra to study finance and economics. “We want to give back to people who are still serving because we know the struggles of being overseas, the loneliness of being away from your family, and this is a way to remind them that they are not forgotten.”
In addition to campus contributions, the PSVO is working with community groups including the American Legion and local elementary schools to collect items for the drive. The American Legion office in Garden City has already contributed about 75 pounds’ worth of items and is funding the shipping expenses for the care packages, which will benefit a U.S. Air Force unit stationed in Afghanistan. One shipment will be made in time for Thanksgiving, while another will be sent before the December holidays.
“The care package drive is important because the small things matter, and there is often a gap between what is sent and what is essential,” said Heather Thomas, a first-year graduate student in computer science who served as a Navy radioman. “The little things help you hold onto home and humanity.”
The Pride Student Veterans Organization was founded in early 2016 to help student veterans as they transition from military to academic and professional life. About 130 current students at Hofstra have either served in a branch of the military or are the spouse or child of a veteran.
“The organization is young, but as its influence grows, we hope to be able to cultivate higher involvement on campus and effectuate more change,” added Ethan Kirwin’17, the PSVO’s treasurer and a former Army sergeant and paratrooper. “The Army was a very rewarding chapter of my life, ripe with meaningful people and experiences. Now that I am at Hofstra I hope to use my military work ethic to build a strong career in finance and help other veterans through their transition.”