Med school military students honor veterans with personalized flags 

A group of military students at The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine is recognizing veterans who have played a positive role in the lives of students, faculty and staff. 

The group, the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, will recognize the veterans by placing personalized American flags in their honor for Veterans Day, which is Saturday. 

The students will place the flags, each carrying the name of a veteran, outside Levine Hall on Thursday, Nov. 9, and remove them Monday, Nov. 13. The group, through the project, is also helping raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. 

The national SAMOPS organization inspired the flag event, says Lauren Merchant, a second-year CUSOM student and president of SAMOPS at Campbell. SAMOPS groups at osteopathic medical schools throughout the country are honoring veterans in different ways, she said.  

It’s the first such event for Campbell’s medical school, however. 

“I thought that putting up flags was a great way to show our appreciation to our veterans,” Merchant says. “I wanted to make it more personal to CUSOM by adding the names of those veterans that we know personally to the flags.  

“Having the flags flying outside of our building, Levine Hall, will allow everyone walking into school to take a minute to remember and thank those who served, and to realize how many veterans have made a difference to those who are within the CUSOM community.” 

The parent group, the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, was established in 1977 to serve and represent osteopathic physicians in the uniformed services, its website says.  

“The group focuses the attention of the American Osteopathic Association on the unique aspects of practice in the Uniformed Services by the more than 2,200 Doctors of Osteopathy meeting our nation’s military and federal medical needs throughout the world,” the site says. 

The group, recognizing its continued success and future membership begins with student members, holds a voting seat on the AMOPS board of trustees to ensure the physicians hear the student voice. The group also has a board liaison and physician adviser to help assist in AMOPS growth and development as a student council.