LCHS grad Collins hears Vice President Biden speak

Posted on January 13, 2015 3:48 PM

“Most of you are part of the most remarkable generation in history. The 9/11 generation. You are the finest group of warriors the world has ever known. You have all that America needs to not only defend us, but to make us great.”

When Vice President Joe Biden delivered this message at last week’s Student Veterans of America 2015 National Conference, seven members of the WKU Student Veterans Alliance (SVA) were in the audience.

Logan County High School graduate Daniel Collins was one of them. He has bene serving as president of the SVA chapter at Western Kentucky University, but following his graduation recently he is starting work in a large financial institution in Nashville.

Held in San Antonio, Texas, the Jan. 8-10 conference drew more than 1,000 student veterans from across the United States. WKU had one of the largest delegations at the event. In addition to Collins, SVA President Chris Parker of Portland, Tenn., was joined by Joe Hunter of Bowling Green, Krystol Stinson of Scottsville, Kyle Danhauer of Bowling Green, Beckie Clark of Franklin and Niytahssia Boyea of Bowling Green.

While preparing for his trip to the convention, Collins said, “I get a chance to bump elbows with some incredible people. During the conference we will be sharing best practices and learning innovative ways to make higher education for military and veterans as good as it can possibly be.”

The WKU SVA is affiliated with the Student Veterans of America, which has more than 1,100 chapters throughout the nation. WKU’s chapter was selected as the national organization’s “Chapter of the Month” in November 2014.

In addition to Biden, the conference featured several other prominent speakers including: Robert McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Kyle Carpenter, Medal of Honor winner; Shoshana Johnson, the first African-American female prisoner of war; and Wayne Robinson, CEO of the Student Veterans of America.

“It was a great honor to hear from someone so heroic and someone so humble as Kyle Carpenter. He’s such an inspiration,” Hunter said.

After meeting Robinson, Parker said, “It’s an honor to have an opportunity to shake hands and speak with the president and CEO of the Student Veterans of America.”

During the three-day event, student veterans had the opportunity to attend workshops, listen to lectures and participate in panel discussions that covered topics like using digital and traditional media, creating business plans, establishing veterans resource centers and the unique challenges encountered by women veterans.

“We’re very proud of the Student Veterans Alliance for taking so many members to the national conference,” SVA Advisor Rick Wright said. “They worked extremely hard all year to raise the money to cover the cost of the trip. I’m sure this was a professional and personal development experience they will never forget. WKU’s student veterans will benefit tremendously from all the great ideas the SVA members picked up in San Antonio.”

More information about the WKU SVA chapter can be found online at SVA officers can be contacted by email or at the SVA office in Tate Page Hall, room 410.




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