Serv­ing those who serve

PC shows ap­pre­ci­a­tion for vets at Re­source Fair

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - BY JUAN AVILA jlopez@porter­villere­corder.com

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.”

RECORDER CHIEKO HARA

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.

RECORDER CHIEKO HARA

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.

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