Patriot Day Barbecue honors armed forces

The annual barbecue on the Francis Quadrangle has been held for the last three years.

The third annual Patriot’s Day Barbecue recognized and celebrated MU students, faculty, and alumni who have served in the armed forces.

With the large American flags hanging from the Columns, students, faculty, and alumni were recognized for their service Wednesday on the Francis Quadrangle.

Representatives from the Columbia Fire Department showcased a ladder truck and the Boone County Fire Protection District’s Pipes and Drums played patriotic songs, ending with a rendition of “Old Missouri.”

The ROTC showcased cannons, as well a Humvee vehicle and their Pershing Rifle drill team.

President of the Military Veterans Alumni Association Richard Grant is a retired sergeant major from the U.S. Army.

“It is important to take some time on September 11 to reflect on the sacrifices made that day and after that day in the global War on Terror, and to take time to thank all who have made sacrifices in defense of this Country,” he said.

Retired Sgt. Nick Kundert, a former Marine, said MU strives to be veteran-friendly and welcoming to service members with organizations like the Missouri Student Veterans Association.

“It is good to see that the MSVA is dedicated to veterans and military service members,” Kundert said.

Ken Hines, president-elect of the MU Military Veterans Alumni Association, said he’s happy to see Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin continue the tradition started by former Chancellor Brady Deaton.

The Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) attended to showcase two of their projects dedicated to helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. One service takes dogs from animal shelters and trains them to be service dogs for veterans with PTSD, and the other helps veterans through therapeutic horseback riding.

Rebecca Johnson, the center’s director, said it is “central and vital” to honor service members and veterans.

Loftin was also one of those in attendance to show his support.

“It is incredibly important, everyday, but especially this day, to recognize those who have given so much to sustain the freedoms that we enjoy today,” Loftin said.

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