• Alum’s book on Baylor veterans leads to scholarship support, too

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    In 2012, we told you about Baylor grad and staff member Frank Jasek’s 15-year journey to tell the stories behind Baylor’s memorial lampposts. The resulting 300+ page book, Soldiers of the Wooden Cross, details the lives of 145 Baylor alumni killed in service during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Iraq war.

    Taking the project a step further, Jasek decided to funnel proceeds from sales of the book into the Soldiers of the Wooden Cross Scholarship fund. This past summer, Jasek and his wife, Janet, presented the fund’s first scholarship to a Central Texas native, Maverick Weidman, whose father, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers all served our country.

    And Jasek’s support for Baylor veterans goes even further. Students in the Baylor Veteran and Educational and Transition Services (VETS) program will soon have a space of their own — a lounge area on campus, where they can meet with others who have gone through similar experiences. As part of the book project, Jasek created oil paintings to help illustrate the stories; his latest work, unveiled Thursday at a Veterans Day Ceremony, will soon help decorate the Baylor VETS’ new space.

    “[The lounge] gives the veterans a chance to get together,” Jasek says. “They have a hard time coming back, you know. They’re 25, maybe older, and coming into a college campus. I’m sure it’s pretty hard for them to do that. So they get a place to gather and visit and come back to civilian life and not be afraid of getting shot at. It’s hard for those guys to do that.”

    As time goes on, Jasek says, he’ll likely add more stories to the book. “Frank’s amazing work with Soldiers of the Wooden Cross is a fantastic lens into the great military service legacy that we have here at Baylor,” says Kevin Davis, Baylor VETS program manager. “With all of the other wonderful things that Baylor does, I think we can easily walk by our lampposts or Ring of Honor and forget this legacy of service.”

    This Veterans Day — or any day of the year — take some time to read the lamppost plaques all across campus, and take Jasek’s book with you. Remember those who served, and continue to honor them.

    Sic ’em, Frank Jasek!

    You might also like:
    Amidst personal crisis, this veteran learned the true meaning of ‘Baylor family’ (Nov. 2016)
    Since 1946, Baylor’s memorial lampposts have honored those who served our country (May 2015)
    A Bear whose actions at Normandy in WWII merited the Bronze Star (June 2014)

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