Military Ball exposes students to veteran traditions

Briana Hicks

Veterans and students danced the night away under the aroma of candlelight and good music.

On Saturday, April 30 students were invited to join military officials at their traditional ball.

For the first time the ball was open to students for free.

Military veteran and emcee for the night, Hope Garcia, explained why the veterans club decided to extend the invitation to students.

“I felt that students needed to understand why the veterans sometimes are a little more separated, why we tend to be standoffish, and understand why this camaraderie of all of us together means so much,” she said.

Many vets showed off their camaraderie when Garcia asked people if there were any navy, military, coast guard and marines present.

Students were also introduced to many different military ball traditions, such as, the prisoner of war table.

The POW table is a special table that is set aside from the rest of the dining tables. It is a table that is designated for the ones who fought for this country, but either didn’t get the chance to come home from their mission or are still missing in action.

Attendants also saw military students receive scholarship awards for their hard work at school.

Military veteran Jacob Lirio was one of the few recipients who was honored with a scholarship.

He said, “I actually did not [know I was going to get a scholarship]. I was hearing rumors like ‘hey good luck,’ or ‘congratulations,’ but I didn’t know exactly what I was going to win.”

Students were also exposed to the ceremonial cake cutting tradition.

Garcia explained that every year they have the youngest military official and the oldest cut a slice of the cake and eat a piece of the cake.

Stephanie Delgadio, kinesiology major, expressed that she fully supported veterans, and that both of her parents are active in the military. “I actually was very impressed [with the ball]. It’s beautiful, food looks good, there’s pictures, [and] it’s better than I expected,” she said.

Due to the fact that the veterans club took a chance on expanding their borders, students were able to build a connection with military officials, and got a chance to experience first hand something they may have not been fully able to grasp beforehand.