Student Veterans Group Rock 2018

In 2018, the Student Veterans Group painted the iconic Rock to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the World War I cease-fire on Nov. 11, 1918. (Roanoke College file photo)

By Rebecca Marsh '21

Serving with support

Veterans Day is a U.S. federal holiday observed each year on Nov. 11 to honor and remember all who have served in the armed forces.

For some Roanoke College students, this holiday hits close to home.

The Roanoke College Student Veterans Group was created to provide academic and social support to student veterans, dependents of military personnel, Reserves members and individuals considering military service. The group provides support to students of similar backgrounds during their transition from military member or dependent to civilian student. For them, group membership provides camaraderie with like-minded individuals who group members and their families can turn to for support.

"We know that difficulties will always arise in life transitions, and we are here to help in any way possible," says Naomi Hogan '20, who served as a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force.

Through meetings, group dinners, family barbeques and occasional trips, the Student Veterans Group has fostered an environment that provides members not only with support but lasting friendships. At the College's commencement ceremony, membership in the group is noted with a special stole, as well as a group patch.

“We know that difficulties will always arise in life transitions, and we are here to help in any way possible,”

Naomi Hogan '20, U.S. Air Force veteran

Frances Bosch ’99, a biology teaching associate, knows firsthand what the support of other adult students can do. When Bosch — an adult student during her time at Roanoke College — discovered that the College had a growing adult student veteran population, she knew she had to support them. To Bosch, whose grandfather and grandfather-in-law served in World War II, the Student Veterans Group feels like family.

“We support the veterans, their spouses, and their children,” Bosch says. “‘We’ includes my other half, and our daughter. Some days I find it ironic that a non-military Canadian is the one supporting the American veterans. More often, I am simply grateful for all I have gained by serving those who served.”

On the Roanoke College campus this Veterans Day — Monday, Nov. 11 — the Student Veterans Group plans to raise awareness of veterans by painting the iconic Rock as a tribute to all veterans. A POW/MIA table will be set up in Commons to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Group members also invite the campus community to join them in a ringing of the bell on the Back Quad at 11:11 a.m., followed by cake in the Commons. All are welcome!

For more information about the Roanoke College Student Veterans Group, contact Frances Bosch at