Letter to the editor: ‘USA’ chants misrepresents military

By now, I am certain that there are hundreds of opinions flooding into the Iowa State Daily, so what makes this letter different than any other? Age? Life experiences? Goals? Or simply maturity?

I came to Iowa State back in August, chasing my dream to be the first one from my immediate family to receive a 4-year degree but my road to get here is unlike a large majority of those that I sit with in class. When I graduated high school, I didn’t take the normal college route; instead, I joined the military and currently am still in the military and have a total of 15 years service so far. I am not 18, or 23 or even 30. I am a 34-year-old junior and not ashamed to admit that. If anything, I think it greatly benefits my family and me. I have a family back home patiently waiting for me to graduate and return home to them. 

I have been deployed to the Middle East a total of 6 times. I have been shot at. I have been awoken by and running for a bomb shelter while mortars were landing within 75 to 100 yards from my bed, where I slept every night and hoped to wake up every morning. I have flown into very hostile remote areas, saying prayers that we safely landed so that we could safely take off and return to my loved ones at home waiting for me. I have been there and I have done that and have learned some very valuable things along the way. 

So where does Veishea fit into this article? Let’s start with the young man and the family of that young man who was hurt last night. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and I pray for a full recovery. NO ONE deserves to have his or her life jeopardized or potentially taken by anyone, especially a group of drunken idiots. To those of you who take the time to read this, I want you to keep that young man in your prayers along with his family. Now with that out of the way, let’s get to this riot.

Who are you people? I would hope that you’re not the kid sitting in class next to me. I hope you’re not the guy that I held the door for because your hands were full. Everyone needs to open his or her eyes and think long and hard about this. This is to be a celebration — a celebration of those before us and after us. Instead, it has turned into a drunken nightmare. Those sought after few have just cost us all. The parade, the float building and all the different clubs around campus that have put so much work into the special week is now all for nothing. These drunken lunatics on Welch Avenue on April 8 do not represent Iowa State. This mob was chanting “Veishea” and “USA” … where do either of those fit into the true definition of the week? Of the two, the one that really irks me is the “USA” chant. What have YOU done for this country? Oh, I know you graduated high school and then got accepted into college and then got drunk in the streets and almost cost a young man his life. You want to be proud to be an American or something? Well then go sign the dotted line. 

To the administration of Iowa State, I congratulate you. Canceling this week of events is by no means ideal or an easy decision. Students need to understand that although this riot occurred off campus, it still ties into a school function. I am all for the disbandment of Veishea because apparently it’s too much for some ISU students to handle. I also know it is rumored that there were DMACC students involved. Why can’t Iowa State have a celebration for ISU students? I think it’s time for the birth of a new celebration. 

In closing, I encourage anyone that was on Welch Avenue last night to do the right thing. If you see someone that you know involved in this, do the right thing and report it. Yeah, I know “no one likes a rat,” but think about the family of the injured. How would you feel if your brother or sister was killed because of someone else’s actions and no one came forward? I love it here at Iowa State, but it’s time for students to take some ownership and protect our college. Stand up for the person sitting next to you in class. If we can do that, then once again, Iowa State will stand up and be the best damn college in Iowa.