Serving those who serve
PC shows appreciation for vets at Resource Fair
Porterville College continued Veterans appreciation week Thursday afternoon with a resource fair, presentations and plenty of food.
“We are here to honor our service members and to remember the sacrifices they have made,” said Erin Cruz, director of enrollment services at PC. “We must honor them every day, and in any way that we can.”
Cruz is the daughter of a Vietnam War Veteran oversees the Veterans Resource Center (VRC).
“We do what we can with the resources that are provided to us to make sure that our student veterans have all of their needs met,” said Cruz.
American Legion Post 20 began the program by presenting the colors, then the PC choir sang the national anthem as veterans and the public stood up and faced the flag.
Cody Ridenour, a PC student veteran and president of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) led the pledge of allegiance.
Guest speaker Art Samora -a Vietnam Veteran and former District Commander of American Legion Post 20 -- then shared his story of service.
Samora said after his service in the Vietnam War he attended Merced Community College and eventually transferred to Fresno State. He came to Porterville as a Porterville High School teacher and eventually joined American Legion Post 20.
“I wish I would have joined earlier,” added Samora. “I invite all Veterans to join the American Legion -- they certainly help and provide many services.”
Veterans were also invited to add their name, military branch and years of service to PC’S Veteran Honor Board, which will be displayed at the VRC throughout the year.
Cruz then invited all in attendance to enjoy the delicious meal provided after
PC Student Veteran Edward Gallardo led the audience in prayer.
Later in the program veterans were able to visit the Veterans Resource Fair, which had various agencies and representatives available to offer valuable information. Agencies like Employers Sup-
port The Guards and Reserve (ESGR), Heavy Equipment Colleges of America, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Love, Inc., Veterans
Affairs, Fresno State, San Joaquin Valley College, VA Central California Health Care System, California Veterans and AM Vets were among the many offering their services.
In addition, representatives from the offices of Congressman Kevin Mccarthy, Senator Andy Vidak and Assemblyman Devon Mathis were in attendance.
“I'm deeply honored to be speaking with you as we celebrate Veterans Appreciation Week. Your service and sacrifice has kept our country safe and free,” said Cruz.
Everyone in attendance took a moment of silence to think of the soldiers
still in service across the globe.
“It thinks it is really important to honor and observe the Veterans for all they have done,” said PC student Vanessa Zavala. “It's good that they are doing this to recognize them, especially because they served the country for our freedom.”
PHOTO BY Army Vietnam Veteran Art Samora speaks as a guest speaker Thursday, Nov. 8, at Porterville College Salutes our Veterans event, as a part of Veterans Appreciation Week at the college.
PHOTO BY Maria Roman from Porterville College’s Veterans Resource Center posts name plates of veterans who attended the Porterville College Salutes our Veterans event Thursday, Nov. 8, at Porterville College.