On Wednesday, citizens across the nation honored the men and women who have given their lives over to service in the United States military through the observance of Veterans Day. Earlier in the week, Full Sail celebrated its own military student population with two very special events.
The week kicked off with a Thanksgiving-style dinner in the Full Sail Live Venue. Veterans and their families dined on turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pie while being treated to the sounds of a live band. The event also featured a raffle and a speech by Full Sail’s Digital Cinematography Program Director, Bob Truett.
Bob, who served in the Navy before arriving at Full Sail, spoke about the importance of mastering small, seemingly menial tasks in order to cultivate a strong work ethic.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” he said. “When I was in the Navy, I often wondered about the point of making my bed every day, and why it was something we were inspected on. I thought, how is this going to make me a better sailor or soldier? Sometimes it is the little things that really matter in life. These are the skills that prepare us for the bigger tasks ahead. Think about this as you go through your courses here at Full Sail, how all the little skills you learn eventually become second nature.”
This marks the third year that Full Sail has hosted the annual dinner. Military Admissions Representative Christina Carde spoke about the event’s evolution.
“Originally, we put on this event because there are students here who can’t afford to go home for Thanksgiving. It grew from there, and now it’s a way for us to say thank our veteran students for what they’ve done for our country.”
The dinner culminated with a bagpipe performance by Don Larson, Program Director for Full Sail’s Media technology MFA program.
The festivities continued the next day with food, fun, and music on the backlot. Students rocked special t-shirts signifying their military affiliation, care of Full Sail and the Veteran Student Union (VSU). Faculty and staff took their chances in the dunk tank, and several local non-government organizations were on hand to provide literature and resources geared toward veteran affairs.
Show Production student and Navy veteran George Cobb attended the event with his wife, Dakota, and their 20-month old daughter Charleigh.
“I’m having a good time,” he said. “It’s a good atmosphere and everyone’s enjoying the dunk tank.”
While her husband’s schedule can be demanding at times, Dakota added that she’s happy to support his goals.
“There are times when I don’t see him except for maybe five or ten minutes in the morning before school, or at night, but he’s happy, and he constantly pushes himself to provide for us.”
Attendees greeted each other warmly, many having met the previous night at dinner. James Anderson was on hand for both events. A member of the veteran Student Union, he served in the Navy before enrolling in Full Sail’s Creative Writing program.
“I’ve noticed that there are a lot of veterans that go to school here. It’s nice to connect with somebody who’s going through the same thing you’re going through, because transitioning of from the military can be a daunting task. The VSU really helped me transition. They greeted me, and taught me about the area and what’s going on. I enjoy being a part of this community.”
For more information on military life on campus, the VSU, or future events, head on over to the military section on our website. And check out more photos from the week’s festivities in the gallery below.