by SARAH THOMACK
St. Joseph Post
Missouri Western State University will receive a designation recognizing the university’s commitment to supporting military veterans.
The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded or killed by an enemy combatant.
Missouri Western will receive the Purple Heart University designation. Jay Fude, a current non-traditional student at Missouri Western, says the designation is a way to showcase the university as veteran and military friendly.
“It’s something that Missouri Western can say, ‘We love our vets.’ We’re still a bastion of wholesome ideals, the American ideals, the things that make this country as amazing as it is,” Fude says. “A lot of our veterans have been in some places overseas that don’t have these freedoms and just seeing that we are a Purple Heart University kind of screams, ‘We know what you’ve been through, we have people here who can help you in your next goal of completing a degree… we’re in tune, we know how to get you where you need to be.’”
Fude is also President of the Student Veterans of America chapter on campus, an organization of veterans helping veterans transition from service to an academic environment.
“We’re here to help with peer-touring, veterans who are dealing with PTSD or other problems coming out of the military, we help with that,” Fude says. “Also we try to keep an eye out for scholarships and things of that nature and generally just provide a place for veteran students on campus to work together and help each other out whenever we can.”
Missouri Western Vice President for Student Affairs Shana Meyer was part of bringing about the Purple Heart University designation. She says she learned about the designation at Great Northwest Days at the same time the Student Veteran group was looking into it.
“It ended up being a happy coincidence that we had several groups looking at the opportunity at the same time, knowing that we value our veterans, we value our military connected students. We wanted to make sure we were honoring those who’d given a big sacrifice for this country and making sure that we designated the university as a place that serves those folks who have received the Purple Heart along with all those others who are military connected or veterans.”
The ceremony recognizing Missouri Western as a Purple Heart University will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Walter Cronkite Memorial inside Spratt Hall. The ceremony is free and open to the public.