USD is celebrating and honoring veterans through speakers, a dinner and various events.
The Student Veterans Club is hosting a Veteran’s Appreciation Dinner Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Eagle’s Club.
Joseph Knoer, the Student Veterans Resource Center coordinator, said the Student Veterans Club dinner was originally supposed to be in the Muenster University Center ballroom, but was moved to the Eagle’s Club.
“We decided to go with the Eagle’s Club because accessibility-wise and parking, we felt that it would be a little bit easier for older folks to pull up and get dropped off two feet from the door than figure out where to park on campus,” he said.
Evan King, a junior kinesiology major, said Veterans Day is an important holiday.
“It’s a day to give thanks and service to those who have served our country,” she said. “It’s especially important to me, being that my dad is a veteran.”
The dinner is free for everyone in the community, Knoer said. Heck’s Barbeque, Jimmy John’s, Aramark and the Eagle’s Club will be providing food and beverages for guests.
“Just for coming, you’ll get a raffle ticket,” Knoer said. “We’ll have a door prize that you’ll automatically get entered in for showing up. We’re also going to have an additional raffle for people to purchase tickets.”
The SVRC, USD and Veterans Club have other events planned, too.
“(USD) has had a couple speakers,” he said. “We just got back from helping at the the Children’s Center (Tuesday) morning. The American Legion here in Vermillion is doing a program at the Vermillion High School on Friday. We do have a couple of our student veterans who are going to help assist with that and help usher people in.”
Knoer said Veterans Day is great for honoring veterans.
“It gives a little bit of recognition and it is supposed to be for the veterans, but it allows veterans like us to do events like this,” he said. “Especially in South Dakota, veterans are very well-received and events like the dinner that we’re going to put on, it gives us a chance to give appreciation back to the community.”
King said veteran-related events should be more well-known, and students should participate in the events.
“I think it deserves a little more publicity than it does get, because they are deserving of it,” she said.
Knoer, an infantry man and non-commissioned officer in the Army National Guard, said the dinner is the “least they can do.”
“That’s our opportunity to have another chance to give back to the community, show our appreciation for how they support us 364 days out of the year,” he said. “Us doing a dinner one night is the least we can do. We really would like it to get a wide variety of people around Vermillion to come. It’s not exclusive to veterans — it’s a community dinner.”