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A&M-Commerce prepares for annual Veterans Vigil

By Stephanie Norman
On October 30, 2010


A&M-Commerce's 2010 Veterans Vigil will take place Nov. 3 through Nov. 6.

A&M-Commerce hosts this annual vigil to honor men and women who have served in the U.S. military. The committee of volunteers organizing the program includes community leaders, faculty, and staff and students of A&M-Commerce.

"It's an honor to help set up this program," Veterans and Military Specialist Jessica Gossett said. "It's a way we can give back to our veterans on campus and give back to our community. I can't think of a better way to honor those men in my family than to serve on the Veterans Vigil committee."

Events will begin next Wednesday in the Sam Rayburn Student Center (SRSC) with a discussion on Diversity in Dialogue with Robert Dotson in the Traditions room from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Conference Room of the SRSC with Major General (Ret.) Christopher S. Adams as the keynote speaker. Following the ceremony, the vigil flame will be lit and burn continuously until 3:00 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, when it will be extinguished. The Vigil site will be in front of the SRSC on the walking mall. 

Gossett said the community and all students are encouraged and welcome to attend all scheduled events for the Veterans Vigil.

A Veterans Vigil Youth Program for sixth graders from surrounding area school districts is to be held from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in rooms A, B and C of the SRSC. 

Then from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Career Development will host a Veterans Appreciation reception in the SRSC foyer. At 6:00 p.m., the AFROTC Reunion will take place upstairs in the SRSC.

Saturday, Nov. 6, the Vigil will continue with campus tours from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. with M Major General John M. Speigel as the guest speaker. Closing ceremonies will begin at 2:00 p.m. with the extinguishing of the Vigil Flame and a military flyover between the Science Building and the SRSC.

Paige Bussell is serving as the chairperson for the Veterans Vigil Committee. It is her first year on the committee, but she has worked at the university for 15 years.

"I look forward to chairing this committee and honoring those who have served our country," she said.

The posting of a guard on the Vigil site is an important aspect of the ceremony. Volunteers typically dedicate one hour of their time guarding the flame. There are 50 volunteer positions, but fewer than 10 remain.

The campus bookstore is giving a 10 percent discount on all clothing, supplies and gifts in conjunction with the Veterans Vigil Nov. 4 through Nov. 6.

Individuals interested in volunteering may contact the Veterans and Military Services Office at 903-886-5123.

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