A Different Kind of MU Homecoming
Mizzou’s Patriot Day Barbecue honors Tiger military veterans.
The MU Veterans Center, one of the first of its kind in the U.S., has been a source of academic, financial and personal assistance for more than 800 student-veterans since reopening in 2010. This year, the G.I. Bill will help pay for nearly 600,000 veterans to go to college, nationwide.
In honor of Mizzou’s student, faculty and staff military veterans — present, past and future — Chancellor Brady J. Deaton and Anne Deaton hosted a Patriot Day Barbecue at the Residence on Francis Quadrangle. Beneath Old Glory hoisted by a Columbia Fire Department truck, attendees enjoyed burgers, sweet potato chips, and red, white and blue cupcakes on a perfect Sept. 11, 2012, evening.
Also in attendance: canines from MU’s Veterans and Shelter Dogs program, birds from MU’s Raptor Rehabilitation Project, and Tiger mascots Truman and T.J.
The Veterans Center calls itself a “one-stop shop” for campus veterans (students and employees) looking for resources, mentorship or just a little camaraderie, among other services. The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) is also looking to establish an alumni affinity group for veterans similar to Varsity M for athletes.
“Many veterans who come to campus are not of the traditional college age, so they might have missed out on some things while they were students,” says Robert Ross, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and MAA coordinator of affinity groups. “Our purpose is to develop connections between MAA and Mizzou alumni who are not connected to other alumni groups.”
About 400 people attended the Patriot Day Barbecue, at which Chancellor Deaton, as well as Trista Corbin, Mizzou Student Veterans Association president, addressed the crowd.