Both the Veterans Club and Diversity Student Council will reach out to their members and the Saddleback community during the week of Nov. 8, with a series of events to promote diversity and a better understanding of what it is like to have served in the military.
“The DSC approached our club with this idea as a way to honor and commemorate those who have served, and to expose those who have not [experienced] the reality of America’s military,” said Mikel Savides, 25, international relations. “We welcomed the idea warmly and greatly appreciate their involvement and continuing efforts to strengthen veterans’ affairs.”
Guest speakers, all who have served in the military, will present “Wall of Heroes.” This event will be held on the second floor of the Student Service Center.
“Our four speakers will be from various backgrounds, which will provide a tangible display to the [diversity] of the United States Armed Forces,” Savides said.
By hosting these events, the Veterans Club hopes to create a better connection and awareness between student veterans and the general student population.
“The event is taking place to honor Saddleback College veterans, create awareness [of a veteran’s sacrifice], [connecting] students who have served, with students who have not,” said VETS outreach aide Anthony Belot. “Veterans can take away from the event that their stories are being heard.”
This forum is not solely intended for the veterans, but also the Saddleback College community, by allowing students and others to take part in the events.
“Many veterans returning from service—especially those involved in global conflicts—find it difficult to relate to the much younger and generally inexperienced youth within the [campus] environment,” Savides said.
Sara Ghanbariami, DSC’s ambassador, will speak on Nov. 9, informing the appropriate ways to ask questions to speakers at the event, asking veterans to consider the environment of the event and speaker’s backgrounds.
“I wish to assist our veterans and the various diversity-related clubs and groups to spread their message and point of view on campus for other students to understand and relate to,” Ghanbariami, 19, political science, said.
DSC and the Veterans Club will be working hand in hand throughout this event.
“Having the DSC investing time with our Veterans Club will be beneficial to campus culture,” Belot said. “Furthermore, having the DSC host such a forum essentially recognizes veterans as part of Saddleback College’s diverse population and can begin to rectify any disconnect veterans feel on campus.”
The documentary known as “In Their Boots,” will be taking place in the quad around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10. According the documentary’s website, this film depicts the impact the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are having on people at home in the United States. To learn more about the documentary, visit http://www.intheirboots.com/itb/.
At gathering at the Veterans Memorial on Thursday, Nov. 11, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., there will be readings and a moment of silence, with bagpipers playing “Amazing Grace.”
“A field of flags similar to that pictured outside the VETS Center will be laid this year as well,” said Terence Nelson, Veterans Club advisor “This is a memorial showing the lives lost by the heroes fighting overseas in the Middle East since the conflict began.”
Following the ceremony, there will be a Chili Feast fundraiser, hosted by Chili’s Restaurant and the ceramics department. The chili will be served in bowls made by ceramics’ students.
“These events are groundbreaking for the college and are a display of the true respect the institution has for our nation’s heroes,” Nelson said.
Both DSC and the veterans strongly encourage students to get involved in these upcoming events.