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NEW YORK -- Marines from 6th Communications Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve, marched in the annual New York Veterans Day parade, here, Nov. 11. This year marks the 92st Anniversary of The New York City Veterans Day Parade. The parade is hosted by the United War Veterans Council, Inc. on behalf of the City of New York. It is the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation. Since November 11, 1919, the parade has provided an opportunity for Americans and International visitors to honor those who have served in the nation’s largest city. Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the recently awarded Marine Medal of Honor recipient, rode in the parade. Major Gen. Melvin Spiese, Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force, represented the Marine Corps as one of the reviewing officials of the parade. (Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton / RELEASED) Credit: Sgt. Randall A. Clinton

In honor of Veterans Day, student veterans will be tabling on Locust Walk from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to raise awareness of the holiday and of veterans on campus.

There will be opportunities to sign a large thank-you card which will be sent to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center near campus, as well as opportunities to talk with and meet some student veterans. Additionally, students will be able to give donations in exchange for cookies and take part in a social media campaign. Information on different organizations, such as the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, will also be provided at some of the tables.

A large number of Penn organizations and Penn-affiliated organizations will come together to promote the event. Some of the groups involved are the University of Pennsylvania Student Veteran Association, Veterans Upward Bound, the Naval ROTC and Program in Mental Health Education Assessment, Recovery and Leadership for Social Workers Fellows.

College of Liberal and Professional Studies junior and UPSVA Vice President John Grisafi said that generally speaking, veterans are welcomed on campus, but oftentimes students are unaware that veterans are also a part of the Penn community.

“Veterans aren’t all what you think of from the movies,” Grisafi said. “They’re not always older guys who fought in Vietnam. Some of us are still younger guys who want to go to school and are interested in different things. We’re not all sitting around at the [Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall] all the time. We’re not all people who need medical and mental health treatment. We are a very diverse community and a very integral part of Penn’s community.”

Grisafi added that some veterans choose to hide their status while others fully embrace their military background and incorporate it into their civilian life.

“It really depends on the individual,” Grisafi said. “The best way to look at [veterans] is that it’s like a cultural group. It’s just that rather than being from a shared ethnic or national background, it’s from a shared experience that we all have.”

In the context of the Penn community, Grisafi added that veterans have a lot to offer to Penn, which prides itself in having students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

“A lot of veterans are highly intelligent, very motivated people who could be very successful if given the opportunity,” said Grisafi. “We are all very motivated because of our military discipline.”

Grisafi himself previously served in the U.S. Army for 10 years, and he spent most of his military career overseas in South Korea and the Middle East. Currently, he studies history and East Asian studies.

The tabling event hopes to bridge the gaps between veterans on campus and the rest of Penn’s community.

“We would just like to increase awareness of our presence, for people who might not realize that they might even be in a class with a veteran,” Grisafi said.

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