Troy for Troops held its second annual Dining Out Dinner on Nov. 8 in the Trojan Center ballrooms.
The event is a military tradition to honor veterans and encourage companionship, according to Jenny Reed, the president of the Student Veteran Association.
“The dinner is a long-lasting military tradition to honor the sacrifices of those who have served and build camaraderie between the attendees,” Reed said. “For example, we had a Grog Ball Ceremony where a funny-tasting mixture of different and symbolic ingredients is served.”
A secondary purpose of the dinner, Reed added, is to help fund opportunities for student veterans.
“All proceeds from the dinner go to the Student Veterans Association,” Reed said. “The funds will go to paying for students to attend military conferences and organizing more events.”
Lt. Col. Stephen Cox, commander and professor of Aerospace Studies of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 017 at Troy University, said the formal dinner is a military tradition for military members and their families.
“This is a traditional military event, and it’s a chance for military members and their families to get together and enjoy each other’s company,” Cox said. “There is a formal process that keeps it fun throughout the night.”
Cadet Grant Phillips, a sophomore business major from Prattville, expressed the importance of honoring veterans and companionship to him.
“Today is very important to me, because today, I honor those who have fallen in front of me, my brothers and sisters,” Phillips said. “It is also important to share today with everyone here because they are my mentors that I go to for any kind of advice and guidance.”
Cadet Benjamin Parker, a sophomore criminal justice major from Andalusia, said the honoring of the veterans at the dinner inspires him.
“Being here today inspires me and makes me want to excel with my future and as an officer,” Parker said. “The personal connections I made today help me be better.”