Fun Run to honor local veterans

Chelsea Lane

Grand Valley State University will host a Welcome Home Veterans 5K Fun Run/Walk this Sunday.

The run, which is free and open to the public, is the result of a collaboration between WGVU Engage, LZ Michigan, the GVSU Student Veterans Organization, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the GVSU Dean of Students. Registration for the run will begin at noon by the Cook Carillon Tower.

In addition to the run, two veteran-related documentaries will be screened in the Fieldhouse, a patriotic mural will be erected by the Central Utilities Building and a large map of Vietnam will be on display near the registration site.

Director of the GVSU Police Academy Julie Yunker, who helped organize the event, said the hope is that the map will allow Vietnam veterans to show their families where they were stationed during the war. Yunker said the goal of the run is to honor and welcome back veterans in the west Michigan area as well as extend the advocacy efforts of the GVSU veterans groups into the neighboring community.

“We want to basically support veterans who live and go to school in the area by welcoming them … kind of just being able to thank them for their service and letting them know that we think about them,” she said. “… Another thing is that we want to showcase Grand Valley as a beautiful campus where not only classes happen but other things in the surrounding community as well.”

Although all of the event festivities are free, organizers will be accepting donation items like canned food in support of local veteran organizations.

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