By Tamar Elkhouly, Student Veterans of America President
In honor of Veterans Day, the Student Veterans of America hosted a celebration that highlighted Valencia’s commitment to its veteran population. American flags lined the patio and sidewalks surrounding Building 11 on West Campus, and the patio was transformed into a red, white and blue spectacle to create a patriotic atmosphere for students, faculty and staff.
The celebration opened with the Boone High School color guard and the national anthem sung by Makendy Jacob, student services advisor. Then, the owner of Philly Connection and Marine Corp veteran Walli Castillo delivered a guest speech that offered insight into military service and how thankful he was to be a part of such a close-knit community.
More than 350 people attended the celebration, which is the largest turnout to date. Attendees had a chance to meet with recruiters from various military branches, along with different campus organizations. Several companies around the community provided veteran students special offers and opportunities in recognition of their service to our country. Five scholarships, 100 gift bags, several prizes and free food were offered throughout the event.
This celebration would not have been possible without the selfless service by countless volunteers from Student Development, the Campus Activity Board, Student Veterans of America and multiple staff members within the Student Services Building.