BY MARINA PADILLA
Opening the ceremony was COD student Jeremy Nussbaum, president of the Students Veterans Organization (SVO) and COD PolySci teacher Tony Clerc; director of the TRiO program, and Army Veteran. Flag bearers were fellow army veterans that helped give a warm welcome to everyone present.
Clerc’s opening speech mentioned that it may be difficult for veterans to trade in their rifles for books, but COD has made it possible for veterans to graduate from college. “Veteran’s Day is a day to remember and honor every soldier, sailor, airman, marine and coast guardsman who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life itself, on our behalf.” Clerc said.
Clerc said that because of the time and devotion every veteran has given up for this country, we should thank veterans not only on Veteran’s Day, but every day. There are 60 faculty members and 98 students currently enrolled at COD who are veterans.
During the ceremony, Clerc described the five branches in order of their official precedence:
U.S. Army, responsible for land-based military options.
U.S. Marine Corps, responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces.
U.S. Navy, the sea branch, the largest in the world.
U.S. Air Force, the aerial warfare branch of the U.S. armed forces.
U.S. Coast Guard, the smallest of the five branches, not part of the Department of Defense, but operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime.
“This veteran ceremony served as a reminder of the sacrifice that COD veterans have made towards our freedom and liberty and we should all thank them for that.” Clerc said.
Congressman Raul Ruiz, in honor of assisting veterans throughout the school year.
“I’m truly the lucky one to be working at College of the Desert especially with this student veteran population.” Donni Prince said, “I’m truly blessed.”
To donate and support SVO, please visit: www.GoFundMe.com/COD_Vets.