Members of the fraternity have developed and designed the program to recognize, honor and support Missouri military veterans. Through education, community activities and the establishment of a Sigma Ep Veterans Den, members serve, interact and build inter-generational relationships with local veterans, area veteran groups and Sig Ep veteran alumni.
One phase of the program is continuing educational development of fraternity members.
“We felt we needed some ‘street cred’ before we went out to meet and work with our veteran groups,” said Brad Diekmann, a Sig Ep senior and SE2V team leader.
Last April, about 20 of the younger members of the Sig Eps traveled to Fort Leonard Wood to gain fundamental exposure into military life and training. A highlight of their trip was interacting with the Engagement Skills Trainer, a simulator devised indoor rifle range.
In conjunction with ROTC, members have also completed a 4-hour military 101 class to learn basics of branch structure, rank, insignia and jargon. Both these experiences will help members develop better rapport and respect within the veteran community.
As part of the community service aspect, the SE2V program is partnering with the Missouri Veterans Home in Mt. Vernon, Missouri.
Nearly 40 Sig Ep members are involved with sponsoring and running multiple bingo sessions and escorting veteran members to community events such as Missouri State and Cardinals baseball games and trips to Silver Dollar City.
The group is also developing a partnership with the Oldham Family Veteran Student Center so members can learn and engage in new relationships through sports, meals and presentations between the groups.
Honor and respect
A new veterans den will soon be a reality and located at the chapter’s campus house. The Sig Ep fraternity has nearly 100 alumni veterans. Plans are to establish criteria and annually induct several veterans based upon certain criteria.
The SE2V program is robust and continuing to develop on the foundation of giving back to those who have served and a dedication to community service. In recognition of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, we are pleased to highlight the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity as this month’s Public Affairs Student Spotlight.