Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Veterans Replace U.S. Flag

Students, veterans and university figures gathered at the university flagpoles on Healy Lawn at noon on Thursday, April 22, when the ROTC Color Guard and the newly-founded Georgetown University Student Veterans of America replaced the current flag with a new American flag.

The ceremony was designed to retire the old flag, which Erik Brine, president of GUSVA, described as beloved, but ragged. The Hoya Battalion, made up of the ROTC from the Washington, D.C. area, marched to the flagpole and presented a new flag to Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, who attended the ceremony in University President John J. DeGioia’s place.

The group also celebrated the administration’s decision to raise Georgetown’s Yellow Ribbon Scholarship Fund, a scholarship offered to veterans, from $1,000 per year to $5,000. Brine declared this a step to create a “more realistic educational opportunity for those who have sacrificed to make America a better place.”

Brine added that the flag ceremony would become an annual tradition. He said it symbolized the relationship between the administration and the veterans on campus. He called upon the audience to “help us make Georgetown University a golden standard for veteran-administration relations.”

“This is a time for new beginnings,” Olson said, echoing Brine’s sentiments. He expressed gratitude to Brine and the members of GUSVA for voicing concerns about the veterans on campus, and for working for a better future for them. He also declared that “there is a very notable generosity that all veterans have offered . to this nation, and to this community.” Olson also praised veterans for defending the freedom of the United States.

GUSVA was formed this semester to voice the opinions of student veterans on campus and to ease many of the struggles of its members. Brine explained that before the reforms just passed by the administration, Georgetown University cost more than $27,000 annually for veterans, even after benefits provided by Veterans Affairs. Brine found that number exorbitant.

“Georgetown is tremendously expensive for veterans,” Brine said. “Out of the top 25 colleges in the United States, Georgetown is the most expensive for veterans.”

GUSVA Vice President Tyler Tuggle (COL ’11) said that The George Washington University offers veterans compensation for up to half their tuition.

However, both Brine and Tuggle expressed hope for improvement.

“Georgetown has always had many of the resources our members need, but we didn’t know where they were,” Brine said.

Nevertheless, Brine added, “The support [at Georgetown] has been absolutely overwhelming. There’s no contention between [GUSVA] and the administration.”

Fr. Rick Curry S.J,, a member of the Jesuit community on campus, delivered the invocation for the ceremony, during which he blessed the sacrifices of the soldiers, and reminded the audience that John Carroll’s philosophy involved doing works not just for God, but for one’s country as well.

In addition to the ceremony, the Georgetown University Grilling Society, working with GUSVA, grilled burgers in Red Square, with all of the proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project, a group that aids wounded veterans, both on the field and back in the United States, according to its Web site.

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