University Park, IL,
14:43 PM

GSU Student Veteran Featured at Memorial Day Service

Governors State University (GSU) student-veteran Victor Garcia, a discussion leader in a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant funded-course, was recently honored as the keynote speaker for a Crete Memorial Day service.

“We remember that this country’s history is filled with men and women who served. They were brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters. They were loved by someone. They put aside all their ambitions to serve you, to serve your country,’’ Sgt. Garcia told a crowd gathered for the service.

An Interdisciplinary Studies (IDSS) student, Garcia served with the U.S. Marine Corps for four years during the Iraq War. In 2004, his squad leader was killed in combat, and Garcia later wrote his story of Fallujah—a city 50 miles west of Baghdad—to cope with the ensuing grief. Today, Garcia's reflections are part of a collection of veterans' stories at University of Chicago. 

In the GSU “War, Trauma, and Humanities," course, part of the Dialogues on the Experience of War program, Garcia and other veterans studied authors from WWI to Iraq and Afghanistan. For the second year in a row, GSU has received the NEH grant to offer the course, as well as other programs to bring veterans' stories to the entire GSU community. 

Andrae Marak, Dean of the GSU College of Arts and Sciences and Graduate Studies, co-authored the NEH grant with Rosemary JohnsenAssociate Provost and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Marak helped select Garcia for the GSU war and trauma course and suggested Garcia to organizers of the Crete event. The GSU programs and speaking groups like those gathered for the recent Memorial Day celebration give Garcia and other veterans the opportunity to reflect.

Read Garcia’s full remarks in a Daily Southtown’s story here.