UI Veterans Association marks day with ceremony, flag display, and march for suicide awareness

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On Veterans Day, members of the University of Iowa Veterans Association (UIVA), Iowa Army ROTC, and the UI community gathered on the west lawn of the Pentacrest to honor Iowa's veterans with an opening ceremony featuring reveille, the national anthem, and remarks from LTC Steven C. Fredericks, a former professor of military science at the University of Iowa.

Throughout the week, members of the UIVA and local volunteers have also been ruck marching over 280 miles—from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City—to raise awareness for veteran suicide. 

Because ruck marching involves walking at a fast clip with a weighted backpack, the participants are carrying 22-pound rucksacks to symbolize the 22 veterans who take their own lives by suicide each day. The 22 pounds is made up of personal mementos of each volunteer that either honor their military service or represents the service of a loved one. 

The Game Ball Ruck is set to culminate on the west lawn of the Pentacrest—near the Veterans Day flag display—on Saturday, Nov. 14, when participants will complete the last leg of their journey together, ending at Kinnick Stadium for the Veterans Appreciation football game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. 

More information about Veterans Day events on campus are available on the UIVA's website