In honor of Veterans Day weekend, Corvallis and University of Washington amateur boxers squared off Friday, Nov. 7, in the Battle of the Brave, a charity event hosted by the Corvallis and Oregon State University boxing clubs. The battle is the clubs’ way of contributing to a larger movement to support the retired armed forces.
Boxers went toe to toe at the Life Community Church in a professional, Las Vegas-style setting, with proceeds from the event going to charity aiding veterans.
Each fight lasted three exciting rounds, testing the boxers’ stamina and their will to come out on top.
Caleb Lau, OSU boxing club president, gladly took the chance to offer the club’s support and hopes that, in the future, the university’s boxing club can do even more for good causes.
“We just have a lot of people in the military and ROTC in our program, and we really just wanted to do something for the community,” said Lau, a junior in political science. “We’re trying to be more involved with the community, more involved with OSU. Right now, we’re a volunteer student organization, and we’re very much working towards that SSO, that sponsored student organization.”
Lau is involved with ROTC himself and feels veterans affairs are something that can’t be ignored.
“I think these people have given everything to the country. They’ve given us the opportunity so that you don’t have to serve,” Lau said.
The Battle of the Brave took place in the midst of a movement spearheaded by former Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning during the last year of her time in office. Manning began a 10-year campaign in 2013 to provide housing for the homeless, a population with a disproportionate number of veterans.
Corvallis boxing club coach Dan Dunn said the club’s goal for this school year was inspired by the mayor’s strategy.
“Last year we did food drives and filled the pantry for the college, did a lot of really cool things” Dunn said. “This school year, we wanted to focus on homelessness, children of war vets — any way we can help out the veteran community.”
Dunn said it’s the ability to relate to veterans that makes them important to him.
“For me, it’s easy. I’m a retired army guy. I spent 25 years in the military, so I just retired in 2011,” Dunn said. “All the guys here in uniform, I know almost all of them.”
Dozens of military personnel, many in full uniform, turned up to see the fights. Veteran Jonathan Haynes cheered Oregon’s boxers while dressed entirely in American flag apparel. He said he’s glad to see students getting involved in veterans’ wellbeing.
“It’s a very good thing. Very interesting, and I certainly hope we have a lot more of it,” Haynes said.
Haynes is a former fighter pilot who served in the Air Force from 1965 to 1976.
“I’m happy to see the support being given here,” Haynes said.
Source: Chris Correll, The Daily Barometer