Veterans Day is a day to honor, celebrate and remember all those men and women who served in the US army, air force, space force, and the coast guard. It is the anniversary that marked the end of World War I. The Harper College joined the rest of the country to extend its gratitude virtually through its official website. It involved a series of speeches from the president to former and continuing veteran students and was finished off by the provost.
Dr. Avis Proctor, President of Harper College
Dr. Avis welcomes the conference attendees but primarily recognizes the Harper community’s faculty, staff, and students. She acknowledges the dedication and service of the veterans, both the continuing and those who left the service. She also notes that the day had been vital in Harper College’s calendar since its establishment. She later notes that close to 500 students join each year and receive the GI bill (Servicemen Readjustment act, 1944). The GI bill is an education grant given to active-duty veterans and service members or their family members. Dr. Avis further notes that the college is committed to supporting veterans through the Center for Student Veterans and Military-Connected Students. She says this institution was built with grants from a home department foundation and a private foundation. Dr. Avis is happy to meet some of the students in the hall who shared their experiences of the center’s support. She did not hesitate to tell the audience to reach out to the college website to learn more about the school.
Rodger sprayer, the Chief Human Resources Officer, later takes over from the president and introduces a series of harpers veterans, both of who have graduated and continuing students. The first guest veteran is police officer Daniel Vergas who says that he was in the US army reserves for 13 years. He says his last rank was a sergeant and a leader of a squad and that the last station he served was in Darien, Illinois. He says he joined the army to be part of something big and pursue education and that his biggest achievement was meeting new people who later became family. His last word of advice to new veterans transitioning to civilian life was to reach out and not shy away from seeking help from various organizations.
Jesus Molina, coordinator Center for Student Veterans and Military-Connected Students
Jesus is a Marine Corps veteran who served from 1999 to 2003 and once deployed in Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom a Marine Corps (1999-2003) in Iraq. His role is to help student veterans transition from military to civilian life. Mr. Molina further adds that since he is also a product of the same system, he can help the students as he knows what they’re going through. He also connects them to community organizations for veterans, including the local VFW and Legion Posts, Road Home Programs and The Mission Continues.
The next speaker was Nicholas Weidmayer. Who is a student at the college and joined the military in 2009 as it was part of the family tradition. He hopes that veterans can join hands and give back to the community. Mr. Weidmayer is closely followed by another student veteran, Joshua DeMars, who joined the Air Force in 2011 for the opportunities and search for new challenges. He enjoyed traveling and the people he got to meet, the friendship he struggled with at first adapting to the new way of life as many vets do. He finally advises other veterans to be positive and reduce complaints.
Rogelio Villa (Navy national guard for six years)
Rogelio Villa joined the navy in 2005 as a tactical operation officer and deployed in Afghanistan as a gunner from 2008 to 2009. His last duty was the first of 178 infantries. He has been the platoon leader in Chicago for four years since coming out of the center for student veterans. He is a volunteer at The Mission Continues in the 2nd platoon. Like other veterans, he also had difficulties transitioning from military to civilian life. Villa adds that it took the intervention of his wife for him to seek help. Mr. Villa says that he later sought out help from the Department of Veteran Affairs which advised him to join the various veteran organizations to connect with fellow veterans. He had heard about the mission continues organization from a friend at YMCA Urban Warriors. He acknowledges the importance of veteran organizations in the healing process, encouraging new veterans to join.
The last speaker is Dr. MaryAnn Janosik, who is the institution’s provost. Ms. Janosik emphasizes that she ‘serves’ and that students at Harper College were once servants in different capacities, just like her father was in the military in the Philippines and later in the Reserves for a further 20 years. On this day, she says that she adores her father for his service to the country and others who have served as her dad did in World War II.
“Veterans Day Special 2021 by Harper College Events Management.” Livestream, Web.