Exhibit highlights military culture

“The Things We Carried” art exhibit

“The Things We Carried” highlights photos, artwork and objects from student veterans’ time in the military. ­(Photo: Vibhu S. Rangavasan)

The fourth annual “The Things We Carried” art exhibit runs through Friday at the Cisar Student Veterans Center in Student Center East.

The exhibit, which is inspired by Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed novel, The Things We Carried, features photos, artwork and objects from student veterans’ time in the military.

“It’s our way to give the student body insight on military culture,” said Billy Triphahn, president of UIC’s Student Veterans Association. “A lot of students at UIC maybe don’t know much about military culture. They might know what they’ve heard from a cousin, a friend or what they’ve seen on TV, but in reality it’s completely different.

“It’s important to learn about everybody’s culture on campus, and we’re no different.”

Triphahn served from 2010–2014. For the showcase, he selected a few photos, training manuals and challenge coins, which bear his name and are unique to his unit. Seeing the UIC community engage with the collection is meaningful for student veterans, he said.    

“It’s nice to see people looking through them,” Triphahn said. “When they’re reading through them and they’re interested, it makes you feel like your past matters to them as much as it matters to you.”

Members of the Student Veterans Association will be on hand to guide tours and answer visitors’ questions throughout the week.

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