UWSP honors veterans with roll call ceremony
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – UW-Stevens Point (UWSP) invited the community to celebrate Veterans Day with a ceremony at the Dreyfus University Center on Nov. 11.
This year’s event featured a new annual “Honor Roll Call,” where veterans honored their fallen UWSP comrades by reading their names aloud, sounding a bell in their absence.
“(The) memorial incorporates the use of an Honor Roll Call, or as it’s sometimes known in the military, the last roll call,” said Tyler Pozolinski, veteran and UWSP staff member. “The navel bell is rung upon the absent reply during the roll call, as it is those who are no longer here for whom the bell tolls.”
Pozolinski spearheaded the honorary project. He is a UWSP graduate who started his career at the college just last summer. The veteran first enrolled in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010.
Roughly 40 names were read this year, according to UWSP Media Relations Director Nick Schultz. But she hopes to see that number grow over the coming years.
“The list isn’t complete,” Schultz said. “The roll call is for UWSP alumni from any war. We are in the process of trying to collect and have people share the names of their friends and families that may have served.”
Pozolinski noted that many veterans deal with mental illness issues after returning from deployment. The community honored the fallen UWSP veterans who fell in action or as a result of their service, including suicide.
According to Veterans Affairs (VA) reports, around 20 veterans a day succumb to suicide. Pozolinski sees the new roll call as a way to honor veterans of the past and unite the veterans of tomorrow.
“I know a lot of veterans will come to campus, and they won’t find a community here, the retention rates fall,” Pozolinski said. “A lot of them feel disconnected, and don’t know anyone, it’s important to be able to do things and connect vets with the campus like this.”
Members from the UWSP Veterans Club helped during the event. The UW-Stevens Point ROTC displayed the colors before the ceremony began.
Contact UW-Stevens Point with info on a fallen veteran who attended the university, to have their name added to the list for next year’s Honor Roll Call.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at firstname.lastname@example.org with Portage County news and information.