Several volunteers from CSU and the CSU Student Veterans Association (CSUSVA) brought some cheer to the Biloxi (Miss.) Veterans Hospital with karaoke, gift bags and cake on Nov. 5.
Army Sgt. First Class Edwina Evans, president of the CSUSVA and lead organizer of the event, said about eight volunteers worked together and sang patriotic songs with about 40 veterans in the hospital. Staff from the CSU offices in Orange Beach, Ala., and military personnel and CSUSVA members from Hattiesburg, Miss., participated.
“We wanted to lift up the spirits of our fellow veterans in the hospital and let them know someone cares,” Evans said. “We sang ‘America the Beautiful,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,’ and other patriotic songs. It was a good visit.”
CSU Director of Community Relations and Events Vicki Barnes echoed Evans’ sentiment. “I know it makes me feel good deep down inside to know we made a difference in VA patients that day. We sang songs, ate and listened to the stories of those who spoke with us. We wanted to honor them and say thank you for all you have done for your nation.”
Bruce Roberson, Brian Lee and Christina Horton from the CSU Military Outreach Department along with Staff Sgt. Lula Fairley, Staff Sgt. Danail Knox and Staff Sgt. Jason Foster joined Barnes and Evans in serving the veterans. The hospital activities staff assisted with music.
“I feel that we helped brighten the day of the eighteen veterans that participated in the event,” said Roberson. “As a veteran myself, I was honored to go and spend time interacting with the veterans. It was fun to talk to the veterans and find out what branch of service they were from and hear their stories.”
CSUSVA was established to provide centralized easy-to-use services that address a full range of needs: financial aid, VA benefits, academic support, disability services, employment assistance, social networking and references to Veteran Service Organizations.
Evans invites any CSUSVA members or veterans who are interested to please contact her at SVA.President@columbiasouthern.edu or visit the group on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/CSUSVA?ref=stream