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K-State Today Student Edition

March 22, 2019

Reminder: Retired Marine Sgt. Kirstie Ennis to give talk about overcoming adversity

Submitted by Christopher Vitols

The K-State Student Veterans Association will host the second Kansas Student Veterans Consortium Saturday, March 23, in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. The consortium will feature retired Marine Sgt. Kirstie Ennis, who will give the keynote address about overcoming adversity at 5 p.m. in the Union Ballroom. The speech is free and open to the public. Students from all walks of life are encouraged to attend.

Ennis represents the pinnacle of resilience and determination that is character of service members. Ennis was involved in a helicopter crash during deployment to Afghanistan in 2012. She suffered damage to her spine, jaw, shoulder, brain and had her left leg amputated. Although medically retired and suffering from debilitating injuries, she has refused to be defined by her injuries. Resilient as all Marines are, she took up snowboarding and started her journey other athletic endeavors.

Her story does not end here, as her next conquest came in the form of climbing Africa's tallest mountain: Mount Kilimanjaro. Her climb supported charities aiming to provide clean water for communities in Africa. She also completed a 72-day, 1,000-mile walk across mainland Britain, organized by a British charity. Her inspiring story of overcoming adversity and achieving greatness shows the ideals of student veterans. This can bring us closer to the diverse K-State ideal and as a K-State family.

The consortium aims to increase inclusivity and promote veterans and military-affiliated students. All of the Kansas veteran student organizations stand to be a representative of what is one of the largest demographics of student bodies. At K-State, this is especially the case, and we hope to connect our members to their fellow students and assist in helping create the diverse, but unified university that is K-State.

The event is made possible by the Student Veteran Consortium, Diversity Program Committee of K-State and Division of Student Life.