ASU students show appreciation for student veterans

Students write thank you letters to fellow students who are veterans as part of the Salute to Service on campus. (Photo by Fan Wang/Cronkite News)

Students at ASU wrote thank you letters and had conversations with veterans to honor those who have served in the military.

“It’s a veteran appreciation event and also for the whole student body,” said Maximilian Meza, a student veteran. Meza, senior, was stationed on the USS Albuquerque for four years.

The ceremony for the Salute to Service on campus encouraged dialogue between students and veterans.

More than 2,000 student veterans attend classes on campus at ASU. For two days, students stopped at booths on the downtown campus and wrote more than 300 thank you letters for veterans.

“I think they are underrated. They sacrifice a lot and they do a lot for our country so the least I can do is to write a letter saying thank you,” Cayla Milhon said, a senior student at ASU.

“This is great, because then they feel they’re being appreciated, because I know that I appreciate them,” said Frank Median, a first-year graduate student. Median has relatives who have served in the military.

The event also included a photo gallery by Devin Mitchell, a photographer and sociologist from California whose 298-photo Veteran Vision Project focuses on the lives of individual veterans.

The event brings together campus active duty military, veteran groups, charities, Mission Continues , and staff members from the Pat Tillman Veterans Center .

“The goal is continue to grow and expand and really educate the community about service and what it means for veteran students,” said Kendra Hunter, associate dean of students at ASU.

Meza helped organize the Salute to Service, and said he was glad it included an exchange between veterans and fellow students on campus.

“They could have just done an appreciation event,” he said. “But it probably would have been less people experiencing.”