Social Work Club Hosts Veterans Day Celebration

November 15, 2021 Jaidyn Kamplain

On Nov. 11, the Hardin-Simmons Social Work Club hosted a Veterans Day Celebration to honor the many veterans within our HSU family and Abilene community. Veterans, community members, faculty, staff, and students met in front of the flag pole for the service and refreshments.  

“The mission of the Social Work Club is to facilitate communication and fellowship, promote social justice and service, and promote interest in social work issues within our campus and community,” shared the Social Work Club president, Bridget Cloud. “We believe that our mission is very evident within our Veterans Day event because we are providing an opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate the service of our local veterans. We are very proud of their selfless acts and were honored to have them at this event.” 

The program included a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by the Hardin-Simmons University Choir, prayer, and various speakers. 

John Meier with President Bruntmyer

The keynote speaker was John Meier of West Central Texas Regional Foundation. Meier shared his story of struggling with homelessness following his service with the U.S. Marine Corps. Through help from veterans’ assistance programs, he was able to find housing and employment. Meier now works as the Program Manager at West Central Texas Regional Foundation where he provides support services for veterans and veteran families. Meier and his team joined the Built for Zero Campaign, a mission to end veteran homelessness. In 2019 it was announced through their efforts, Abilene become the ninth community in the country to end veteran homelessness 

Meier brought a new perspective to what it means to care for veterans in our community and we are beyond thankful to have heard his story at this celebration.  

Veterans in the crowd were recognized, including senior social work student Tony Whitted ’22. Lauren Cantrell ’10, Associate Professor of Social Work and faculty sponsor of the Social Work Club, expressed gratitude towards the addition of Whitted’s unique perspective as a veteran to the social work program and presented him with a gift from his classmates.  

HSU Social Work Students and Faculty

“The HSU Social Work Club has had its fair share of veterans as students. It was actually some of those very students that began the tradition of hosting the Veterans Day event last year,” shared Amber Guthrie, club secretary and planner of the event. “They mean so much to the professors and the department, so the club decided that we would take the opportunity to host such an event in order to properly honor individuals who mean so much to our country.” 

Social work major Ethan Pfrimmer closed the service with Taps on the trumpet, and guests were invited to enjoy lunch sponsored by United Supermarkets and refreshments.  

We owe a tremendous amount of thanks to our veterans, and HSU is honored to have the opportunity to host and celebrate those in our community each year.