Former Prisoner Of War Headlines NDSU Veterans Day Events

In recognition of Veterans Day, North Dakota State University has scheduled several events to honor its veterans on campus and abroad. Observance is scheduled to begin with a flag-raising ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 8:05 a.m. at the Memorial Union south entrance. The ceremony will feature the Air Force ROTC color guard and a message from Provost Bruce Rafert.

At noon, guest speaker retired Lt. Col. Barry Bridger will present “Salute to Service, Sacrifice and Survival” in the Memorial Union Century Theater. Bridger is a highly decorated U.S. Air Force veteran. On Jan. 23, 1967, Bridger was shot down over Son Tay, North Vietnam, by a surface-to-air missile. He was subsequently captured by the North Vietnamese and imprisoned. For more than six years, Bridger was one of about 350 Americans held captive at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison, where a fellow prisoner of war was U.S. Sen. John McCain. Bridger’s talk is free and open to the public.

Following Bridger’s talk, all veterans at NDSU are welcome to attend a reception in their honor. Bridger and Prakash Mathew, vice president for student affairs, will give messages. Vance Olson, former Staff Senate president and head of the NDSU Veterans Affinity Group, also will welcome guests.

The campus community also is invited to participate in a letter-writing campaign Nov. 7. Veterans Upward Bound, part of NDSU’s Office of TRIO Programs, is partnering with the Equity and Diversity Center to write letters to North Dakota soldiers of the National Guard’s 818th Engineering Co. stationed in Afghanistan. The effort is being conducted through the Wounded Warrior Project. A contact table will be available from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union and before and following Bridger’s talk outside the Century Theater.

Veterans Day events are planned jointly by the NDSU Equity and Diversity Center and the Office of Registration and Records with additional support from the Memorial Union and Compass Program Foundation.