Veterans’ Vigil to be held on campus Nov. 8

John Parsons, Staff Reporter


Photo Courtesy | TAMUC smugmug

John Parsons | Staff Reporter

The 27th annual Veterans’ Vigil, dedicated to men, women, and families of all eras who have served or who continue to serve in the armed forces  is set for Nov. 8 in the Sam Rayburn Student Center (RSC) on the campus of A&M University-Commerce.

An opening reception will begin at 9 a.m. in the RSC conference rooms with the opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. outside the RSC with Buddy Gregg, a member of Veterans’ Vigil Committee, lighting a vigil flame.

Gregg is a veteran of the U.S. Navy graduated from then-East Texas State University in 1964.

Volunteers from TAMUC’s Student Veterans Association (SVA) will be serving as sentries for the flame throughout the day, and veterans wanting to participate may sign up for a 30-minute shift. Veterans do not have to be a member of the SVA to sign up as a sentry.

“Retired Chief Master Sgt. Vance Clarke is this year’s guest speaker for the opening ceremony,” Veterans’ Vigil Committee Chairman and veteran, Dustin Pearson, said.

Some of Clarke’s major awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one star, Air Force Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters and Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon, according to a TAMUC press release.

Irving Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps will present the colors during the opening ceremony under the command of Master Sgt. Bernard Miller.

Ernie’s Barbecue will provide lunch for the event from 11-11:30 a.m.

Irving Marine Corps JROTC will retire the colors during a 4 p.m. ceremony extinguishing the flame with the Hunt County Honor Guard providing a 21-gun salute.

In addition, Nov. 8-11, veterans will receive a 10 percent discount in the RSC bookstore on clothing, supplies, or gifts and will also receive a free lunch in the RSC cafeteria courtesy of Sodexo Nov. 10 with their military ID or proof of veteran status.

For more information on Veterans’ Vigil and activities contact Pearson at [email protected] or 903-886-5123.

This event is free and open to the public.