CLEMSON — Clemson Undergraduate Student Government will hold the fifth annual Walk for Veterans on Saturday, April 6. The event begins at the President’s House with an address from Jim Clements at 10 a.m., followed by a one-mile walk at 11 that will end at the Scroll of Honor Memorial next to the football stadium. All proceeds benefit the scholarship endowment for Clemson student veterans.
“This is a great event that gives us an opportunity to honor our veterans past, present and future,” said Brennan Beck, Clemson’s director of military and veteran engagement. “The obvious tie-in with our military heritage represents the past. The student veterans and those on campus among our faculty and staff are the present. And then the ROTC cadets who train on campus represent our future.”
In 2018, more than 200 people took part in the Walk for Veterans. This year, however, event organizers have set the bar much higher.
“The committee came up with a great idea to put the goal at 493 walkers,” Beck said. “That is the same number of names in our Scroll of Honor. The first 493 walkers will receive a small American flag, laminated ribbon and a bio of one of the people in the Scroll of Honor. In a sense, you’re walking for them. We’ll then invite the walkers to plant their flags next to where the name is located on the Scroll of Honor. I can’t think of a more powerful interaction with that memorial.”
Clemson has made great strides in supporting its student veteran population. Last fall, a new Student Veteran Center opened in Vickery Hall, nearly doubling the size of its previous location in Tillman Hall. The center was designed as a convenient and accessible placed for veterans on campus to connect with other veterans and to resources to assist them through their transition into and throughout the Clemson experience. It includes a lounge complete with work stations, a full kitchen area, couches, lockers and a multimedia setup featuring a 65-inch Roku TV and PlayStation 4 video game console.
Beck has taken part in the event each year. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and took part in multiple deployments as an infantryman to Iraq, where he earned the Bronze Star with Valor and a Purple Heart. This past year, he was promoted to his current position after serving as an assistant director within Student Transitions and Family Programs.
“This is a completely student-led idea,” he said. “It’s a big goal, but it’s shaping up to be even better than last year.”
Those interested in the Walk for Veterans should click here to register. The cost is $5 to walk, $15 for the walk and lunch and $20 for a team walk. Parking is available in Lot C-2 and Tiger Transit will run to the President’s House every 15 minutes.
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