College celebrates veterans’ contributions

Campus police raise American flag during the college’s Veterans day ceremony as veteran Kade Allen (Right) observes Adam Sparano I Lariat

To honor those who have served our nation in both wartime and peacetime Saddleback College hosted a veterans day ceremony November 7th around the college’s veterans memorial Tuesday followed by lunch hosted by the college.

After a ceremonial flag raising by campus police President Elliot Stern, gave opening remarks “You don’t hear the word duty too much in our lexicon anymore, I am reminded how much of a duty being a first responder or an active military soldier is one of the lowest paying jobs you can have on a per hour basis, it is abominable working conditions, and it is of course a risk of life and limb.” Stern said.

“I would suggest there is a reciprocal duty from all of us to our veterans and active military that we should always be committed to supporting them and providing a space, place and a way to create something they often miss after their service. We take that commitment seriously and I am asking you to join me in that mission 365 days a year.”

Jennifer Labounty, vice president of Student Services also wanted to honor those who have served.

“Thank you for serving our country and protecting our freedoms. Thank you for bravely doing what you are called to so we can safely do what we are free to do. Thank you for all who have put their lives on the line in defense of our nation. You have defended our freedom with courage and honor, she said. “We are here to honor you with our gratitude.”

Veteran Kade Allen, a former helicopter door gunner, values the bonds while serving.  “The military is a group that encompasses all races, ethnicities, a group of men and women of all ages.

“They have different political views and they all hail from different backgrounds, states and even different countries but they share the experience of having served in one of the toughest organizations in the world, the United States Military,” he said.

Thursday, from 9 am to 1 pm, faculty and staff were invited to participate in the VET NET Ally seminar, presented by Marshall W. Thomas, director of Veterans Affairs at the CSU office of the Chancellor. This seminar focused on the needs and concerns of military service members and student veterans, and fostering a campus environment that supports the academic freedom and professional, personal, and social success of service members and veterans.

Also on Thursday, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm in SSC 212, the VETS Center hosted a celebration in honor of the 248th birthday of the Marine Corps.  The event featured a customary cake-cutting ceremony.