“I will not take my own life by my own hand without talking to my battle buddy first. My mission is to find a mission to help my warfighter family.”
This, the Spartan Pledge, is a concept developed by Fox News Radio host, and veteran, Boone Cutler.
My last article discussed the first half of this pledge and about how warriors are trying to prevent veteran suicides. Now, I want to address the second half of the pledge, especially how the mission is put into effect here at Edinboro.
The Student Veterans Association (SVA) is taking on this mission full force.
“The SVA is a student veteran group that does service projects and activities, creating a group of veterans of all branches to socialize with a group; we all share something in common. We get together and come from all walks of life, but our service breaks the ice and creates bonds,” Eric Walton, SVA president said.
Walton himself is a 10- year veteran of the army and army reserves. He served a 13-month tour in Afghanistan, conducting route clearance and as explosives support operations. He is now in his junior year at Edinboro studying geology.
The SVA meets every other Tuesday in the veteran success center, room 208 in Crawford, at 5 p.m.
The SVA also recently participated in the kilted mile and will be hosting a Veterans Day event on Nov. 11.
Walton advises new student veterans to come to SVA and get involved in other club they are interested in, as it will help them connect with similar people.
“I was a recluse when first coming to Edinboro and my personal life and grades suffered,” he said.
“Since getting involved on campus, I am happier, more social, [more] open about my service, and doing better in class.”
If you are looking for a place to help fellow veterans and find some common ground, the SVA might be the place for you to start. Transitioning from military life to civilian life is a difficult struggle.
Add to that the rigors of student life and it gets even harder. The comradery of having fellow veterans around you helps.
“We are always looking for people to join and for more activities to do,” Walton said.
SVA’s next meeting is being held Oct. 27.
George Schmidt is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.