GVSU celebrates veterans at annual breakfast
President Thomas J. Haas hosted the Eighth Annual Veterans Day Breakfast to recognize the service and sacrifice of Grand Valley students, faculty and staff members who served or are currently serving in the U.S. military.
Currently, there are 439 military-connected students attending Grand Valley. More than 100 people attended the November 9 breakfast event, held in the Kirkhof Center.
Euphoria, a student acapella group, kicked off the breakfast with a performance of The Star-Spangled Banner.
Haas, a retired captain in the U.S. Coast Guard, thanked all veterans who served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines, as well as the National Guard and ROTC students.
"We are celebrating your service, and we are also celebrating your stewardship," Haas said. "You have stepped forward to take care of our country. Some have given their lives. We must all be stewards of the ideals of America and taking care of each other and our democracy."
U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), whose father and grandfather served in the military, thanked veterans for their service and urged them to help their fellow veterans find the support they may need. He said Grand Valley's focus and emphasis on helping veterans has elevated the culture at the university and in the community.
Steven Naganashe Perry, of Grand Valley's Native American Advisory Council, presented President Haas with a feather, saying it's one way veterans honor other veterans.
Grand Valley has received national recognition for its commitment to veterans and attendees were reminded of the services available at the university.
• Student Veterans Network (gvsu.edu/veterans) provides support for veterans, active service members and dependents in successfully progressing to degree completion, and on to post-military careers.
• TRIO Veterans Upward Bound program (gvsu.edu/vub) provides free academic support services to low-income veterans who want to complete degree programs.
• Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur-Lab (gvsu.edu/mve) gives veterans and military families the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to develop and launch a business.