Olivia Sieff - The Rival GW
On April 29, the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services and GW Veterans hosts the 4th Annual Military Mile Memorial March. This was created to honor current and past members of the military, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Ashley Moore, a current Graduate Fellow in the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services, assists with programming and events, as well as promoting engagement throughout the GW community. She said the 5K run/walk event, commonly referred to as the "M4," will occur through the National Mall and Memorial parks.
“This year, the theme is the Purple Heart. Participants will hear a history of the military aware and stories about GW students, faculty and staff who have received the Purple Heart,” Moore said. “While at the National World War II Memorial, participants will get the opportunity to meet and thank prior generation Veterans through Honor Flight Network," she stated.
According to Moore, the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services assists GW students with their education by being a reliable source of information regarding services for military-affiliated students on campus and in the community. It also hosts multiple events throughout the year.
“In addition to the M4 and The Ribbon Project, we also work with other offices on campus throughout the year to produce a full lineup of events during Veterans Week in November, career planning, site visits, The Pitch, Valor in Politics, Veterans Day of Service, and more,” Moore said.
Yannick Baptiste, president of the student organization GW Veterans, said the M4 consists of three segments, which aim to honor the past, present, and future of the GW military community. The event includes the themed tour of the memorials, a lunch honoring graduating students, and a program to welcome in the new Executive Board of GW Veterans according to Baptiste.
“We really wanted to do an early Memorial Day celebration, which the first aspect of the past definitely aims to do,” Baptiste said. “Then the second portion, or the present, we really wanted to celebrate the successes of our students and then of course the passing of the batton is a representation of the future.”
Baptiste also said one of the main goals of the event is to generate community involvement and awareness of veterans at GW and across the country. “Whether it’s here on campus, whether it’s in the Capitol, on the Hill. When it comes to veterans in the future, it can’t just be this small portion of the population talking about veterans,” Baptiste said. “That’s really the big picture."
The M4 is a family and dog friendly community event, with all members of the GW and broader D.C. community encouraged to participate and honor the military population. More information is available through both the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services and GW Veterans' websites and Facebook pages.