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Organization honors servicepeople at UH with free lunch on Veterans Day


The free lunches on Veterans Day cheered up those who are remembering their fallen comrades, said one veteran who stopped by. | Emily Burleson/The Cougar

In recognition of Veterans Day, the Student Veterans of America hosted a luncheon at their office and provided food as well as gifts Friday afternoon.

The luncheon, which was fully provided by H-E-B’s Central Market, presented a way for the SVA and H-E-B to give back to the University’s more than 2,200 military-connected students and faculty who have served the nation.

“It means a lot to me to be able to come here and contribute to this,” said Michaela Trusdale, Central Market’s assistant service manager. “It’s really great to work with a company that gets so involved in the community.”

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., hot food and cake were provided while SVA played a slideshow of current students from their time in the services.

This is the second consecutive year that the event was held. Last year, H-E-B directly came to SVA with the idea for the event.

“They approached us and asked us, saying they want to do something for veterans,” said Celina Dugas, program director of Veterans Services. “This year, they sent us a message saying ‘Hey, we want to do it again,’ and we are totally honored to have them.”

In addition to the luncheon, SVA recently petitioned the city of Houston to recognize Nov. 9 as Student Veterans Day. The city officialized the proclamation at 2:30 p.m. Friday.

The UH chapter of SVA was named the national chapter of the year in 2015 for their work in helping veterans transition to the role of student.

“As veterans getting out, we want an education and go to school, and the veteran program here helps that,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Penson, a business management junior.

It’s been a busy week for the SVA, which on Thursday hosted a celebration for the 241st birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

Events like these from SVA bring together veterans from all over campus, from students to faculty and staff. They even introduce some who the organization didn’t know were veterans.

“We like to connect with our staff and faculty veterans,” Dugas said. “Last year, many came in that we didn’t know and came in and shared a meal with our younger veterans.”

Penson, who served as a military police officer in the Air Force, placed Veterans Day at a special place in his heart.

“Veterans Day means to me honoring our brothers and sisters who have served, who are here and not here with us,” Penson said. “(This luncheon) is a great way to cheer up a veteran because we want to come here and be chippy. If you give us food, we’ll be happy.”

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