Congressman impressed with NKU’s treatment of veterans

The sun was shining and the air was cool as the American flag waved over Northern Kentucky University on Nov. 11, Veterans Day. NKU V.E.T.S. presented the on-campus Veterans Day activities with a flag-raising and Veterans Recognition Luncheon.

The flag-raising outside of Steely Library was a short, simple service, led by senior criminal justice major and ROTC member, Ian Kirst. Kirst explained the importance of raising the flag and how Veterans Day was all about recognizing our service men and women.

Congressman Geoff Davis, the Republican representing the district in which NKU is located, spoke later at the luncheon and said the flag is more than a public symbol and “after time, the flag becomes something different (for veterans).”

Veterans see more than the stars on the flag and start to see the faces of fallen friends after being deployed, Davis said.

During the flag-raising, singing of the National Anthem and a moment of silence, veterans and current service men and women scattered among the crowd raised their hands to salute. Senior Melissa Nelson performed the National Anthem.

At the luncheon, held in the Student Union Ballroom immediately following the flag raising, Former Army Ranger and Kentucky Congressman Geoff Davis was the keynote speaker. The crowd was made up largely of veterans and their families, according to Davis.

In his remarks, Davis touched on the importance of Veterans Day and remembering our fallen veterans; he likes to “remind young people that veterans are ‘real people’ who are remembered for giving their life,” he said in an interview with The Northerner.

National Guard member and freshman criminal justice major Caleb Collett feels “it’s the least we can do” to honor how much our veterans have done for the United States. Although Collett is not involved in any veterans organizations on campus, he believes NKU “does a great job representing veterans.” In reference to the large crowd during the flag-raising ceremony, Collett felt NKU showed respect.

Davis also told The Northerner how impressed he is with NKU’s ability to welcome veterans back to campus. According to Davis, NKU provides a “real sense of welcoming men and women home and respecting what they did.”

On campus, NKU offers veterans support committees and organizations such as the Veteran-Advocacy Committee and Veterans for Education and Transition Support (V.E.T.S.).

The Veteran Advocacy Committee works to increase campus awareness of the issues veterans face. It also promotes activities that help student veterans and their families succeed. V.E.T.S. is a student organization that focuses on helping student veterans make that transition into to college life. The main goal of V.E.T.S. is to make veterans feel welcome on campus, which is an important part in the transition.

V.E.T.S. is an official chapter of the Student Veterans of America. In September of this year, NKU was honored by G.I. Jobs magazine in the top 15 percent of all colleges and trade schools in America that give their veterans the highest value and a warm campus welcome.

For more information about the Veteran Advocacy Committee, contact Chairman Dave Merriss at Contact Bill Schwartz, President of NKU V.E.T.S., for more information about V.E.T.S. at

Story by Claire Higgins