On Thursday, Nov. 7 the campus hosted its Seventh Annual Event Honoring Veterans Day.
The landing of a Bell UH-1 Iroquois, on the upper soccer field, launched the festivities. But, that was nowhere near the entirety of the event.
“I just walked the campus today (Nov. 7),” said Marine Corps Veteran Mike Dowling, “(Las Positas) really (went) the extra mile in bringing awareness and honor the veteran community, and as a veteran, I just can’t express enough how much I appreciate that.”
LPC’s Veterans First Program was responsible for bringing Dowling, a retired MP K9 handler, to campus. Dowling, author of the book “Sergeant Rex,” told his story along with that of his fellow marine, “Sexy Rexy.”
Also among the speakers was Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Jannett Jackson, who gave a stirring recount of her final day on deployment; a day marked, in her memory, by Whitney Houston’s rendition of the National Anthem, prior to Super Bowl XXV, in 1991.
“We miss holidays,” said Jackson, “that’s just our lives, when we get called we respond.”
For the most part, LPC has answered the call from veteran students. Not just through a surprising show of support last Thursday (Nov. 7), with a packed Mertes Center main theater, but also LasPo is the home to hundreds of student veterans.
The service members were also honored through the lining of the campus, with American flags, as well as statistics and quotes having to do with wars past.
50,000 plus U.S. service members remain in the Middle East, and upon their return, many will become members of the Community College system, according to Veterans Day Master of Ceremonies, Jim Ott.
All speakers echoed a similar sentiment, one made perfectly by Jackson.
“When you see a veteran, say it with empathy and meaning — ‘thank you for your service’ — as it is not just a tagline.”