Syracuse University held its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Hendricks Chapel on Monday. It’s a part of a week filled with activities for veterans on campus. More than 1,300 military students are enrolled at SU this semester alone.
Chancellor Kent Syverud explains how their contributions have made a significant impact.
"Veterans have made this a better university in every way that matters. They brought us better students, a better culture, a stronger set of values, improved programming for all students, and support for this university from a broad community around the country that cares about veterans."
The Keynote Speaker of the ceremony was Carlton Kent. He retired from the Marine Corps as the 16th Sergeant Major.
"I'd like to say to the veterans sitting here today, your dues are paid in full to this nation. Your family dues are paid in full to this nation, for all the deployments that you have had, [and] for all the sacrifices that you have had."
Sergeant Kent told the audience his last tour of duty was Western Iraq. He shared heroic stories of squads that stormed homes to defeat enemies in hiding.
"As they entered, they realized that the sergeant was wounded and were trying to get him out. At the same time, when they were trying to get him out, the enemy had a hand grenade. He took the hand grenade, and he tossed [it]. He tossed the hand grenade toward Sergeant Peralta's squad. Sergeant Peralta was already wounded, laying down, and he took it and he swooped it under his body to protect the squad. As he swooped it under his body, he took the impact of that hand grenade, and he paid the ultimate sacrifice that day."
Sergeant Kent reminded those in attendance, it’s because of brave men and women that we have our freedom in the U.S. today. Syracuse University is currently putting the finishing touches on the National Veterans Resource Center that is set to open next year.