Xavier University has a long history of supporting the military, beginning with Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. Commonly known as "the soldier saint," Ignatius was a Basque nobleman who was brought up to be a soldier. While in battle, his leg was shattered by a cannonball and left permanently damaged. He was given copies of Life of Christ and Legends of the Saints during his recovery, and the books gave him a new direction for his life and led to the creation of the Jesuits.
In addition to an ROTC program that continues to be one of the nation's best, Xavier became a training ground for the Army during WWII. After the war, so many soldiers returned to campus as part of the original GI Bill that surplus barracks had to be erected around campus to house all of them.
Xavier's commitment to the military is perhaps best recognized with the "Our Lady" statue overlooking Victory Parkway, which honors all of the Xavier graduates who have fallen in battle.