Veterans of Baylor celebrates Veterans Day with obstacle course

Olivia Martin | Photo Editor

By Mariah Bennett | Staff Writer

The Veterans of Baylor hosted the Veterans Day Warrior Challenge — an inflatable obstacle course for all students — from 11:30 a.m. to 3:14 p.m. on Thursday in honor of Veterans Day. The organization, which is dedicated to raising awareness for issues involving veterans and to facilitating the dissemination of information to veterans, had around 100 attendees try out the course. At Baylor, there are a total of 334 veteran students.

Collin Covington — Houston senior, Veterans of Baylor president and Marine Corps veteran — said the course was 40 feet long. It began with a circle entrance to hop through, continued with obstacles to jump over and get around and ended with a climbing section and slide.

Covington said the club put on the event to get more of the Baylor community involved with Veterans of Baylor members.

“A lot of us at Baylor find it difficult to communicate, integrate and relate to normal students,” Covington said. “That’s what we’re trying to do: integrate the veteran population into Baylor’s culture.”

Thomas Hall, Louisville, Ky., senior and Army ROTC member, said that he thought the course was fun and exciting and that he enjoyed the slide.

“I think it’s really good that we’re celebrating veterans and awesome that we have a student organization for them,” Hall said.

Attendees competed with another person and won a memorial bracelet upon their victory. If someone didn’t want to compete, they could also purchase the bracelet for $10. The bracelet had a quote from 1st Lt. Jack Lummus inscribed on it: “Don’t stop now. Keep going!”

“It’s just a great quote for anything you’re doing in life, especially being a student,” Brittany Rothrock — Redding, Calif., senior, Veterans of Baylor vice president and Navy veteran — said.

Karen Losoya — Eaglepass senior, Veterans of Baylor service chair and Marine Corps veteran — said it seemed like everybody was having fun at the event.

There was also a competition for two copies of the book “Soldiers of the Wooden Cross: Military Memorials of Baylor University,” chronicling the lives of Baylor alumni who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. These were awarded to those who held the fastest male and female times in the obstacle course.

Phoenix City, Ala., sophomore Mike Harris held the fastest overall time at 8.28 seconds. He did the course twice.

“Just appreciate veterans,” Harris said. “Every time you see them, tell them how thankful you are.”

Later, at 5 p.m. at McLane Stadium, the members participated in the Battle of the Branches flag football competition, hosted by Baylor Veteran Educational and Transition Services, which also consists of student veterans, alumni and local veterans. There were around 300 attendees.

“We’re hoping to make it an annual event,” Rothrock said. “We’ve been trying to pave the road to getting more involved with the community … We’re trying to make ourselves a little bit more visible.”

Out of the four branches participating in the tournament — including Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps — the Air Force branch won. Baylor’s Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC also participated in their own tournament, which Army ROTC won. Both teams received a trophy.

Rothrock said she wants students who aren’t involved with Veterans of Baylor to know that Baylor veteran students are students as well.

“We have experience that we’d love to share with you; just ask,” Rothrock said. “We’re trying to continue to take our service out into the civilian world.”