The University of Southern Indiana’s Veterans' Support Services and the American Legion 8th District of Indiana jointly hosted a chartering and dedication ceremony for the new Sergeant Brock Babb American Legion Post 324 at the University of Southern Indiana on November 7. Sophomore engineering student Pete Snowden, a Navy veteran, is the commander of the new post, located in the Veterans' Support Services office in the lower level of USI’s Education and Science Center.
According to Bruce Drake, department communications director for the Indiana office of the American Legion, this is only the second post to be chartered on a university campus in Indiana. The first was at IUPUI last year. The state organization hopes to charter additional posts on campuses across the state in coming years. As the post grows, there are plans to move it off campus but it will continue to have a focus on young veterans and student veterans. USI currently has more than 245 registered veterans on campus.
The post was named after Marine Sergeant Brock Babb, who was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq in 2006. Special guests included Barbara Babb, widow of the fallen soldier, as well as his parents and other family members. During the ceremony, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke presented a proclamation dedicating November 8 as Brock Babb American Legion Post 324 Day in the city of Evansville.
Terry Babb, father of Brock Babb, said the family was both shocked and honored by the number of people who turned out to support the dedication and chartering of the new Post. “This is all very overwhelming,” he said. “Because of this, we know his name will never be forgotten. I thank the American Legion and USI for allowing this to happen on this campus. We’re big supporters of USI and have been since its beginning. My wife and I attended class in the first class of USI. We’re honored that this is happening on this campus.”
Following Brock Babb’s death, the family started a scholarship at USI in his name. The scholarship is given annually for aspiring engineers who are graduates of F.J. Reitz High School in Evansville.
Snowden says the decision to charter the new post was a group decision between him and other young veterans on campus and one that will benefit young veterans at USI as well as Ivy Tech, the University of Evansville and the local community. The new post received support from both the district and state level. Only 10 members were needed to charter a new post and the number quickly grew to 17 on the original charter. Several new members have since signed up, including four the night of the dedication. The group now stands at more than 25 members.
“This Post is pretty important for our campus,” said Snowden. “It’s close and because much of our membership is young, we’re on the same ground as other student veterans. Hopefully, if they come to us, we can give them assistance, offer camaraderie, or just be there to talk about things that are bothering them.” He said the post will help bridge the gap between young and old veterans and ensure that the American Legion remains vibrant in the area.
The Post will be able to help veterans with myriad of services including assistance with the Veterans GI Bill, VA benefits and benefits issues, and many other services traditionally provided by American Legion posts.
Photo Credit: Photography Services
A large crowd attended the dedication and chartering of the Sergeant Brock Babb American Legion Post 324 on the USI campus November 7.