Military veterans and students honored at Veterans Day ceremonies
11.12.2014 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao
United States military veterans gathered at San Jacinto College on Veterans Day to be honored for their service.
The day began with ceremonies at the North, South, and Central campus locations. Mr. D.A. Buell visited the Central Campus and told his story of fighting on the shores of Normandy on D-Day. At the age of 15, Mr. Buell joined the Arkansas Color Guard in 1939. He joined the U.S. Navy thereafter and placed in the top 10 percent of his class in navigation school. In 1942, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the Naval Corps and transferred in 1944 to a B24 Bomber Squadron. By the time WWII was over, Mr. Buell had completed 32 missions. Following his presentation, Ruth Keenan, executive director of the San Jacinto College Foundation, unveiled a piece of a parachute that was used on D-Day to be displayed at the College.
The day's ceremonies also included presentations of $500 scholarships to San Jacinto College student veterans Samuel Alix, Camillo Rojas, John Foster, Michael Brown, Robert Crowder, and Cameron Manuel. San Jacinto College was recently named a military friendly school by Victory Media Inc. for the fifth consecutive year for its dedication toward veterans and offering the resources needed to result in their success. In 2012, the Centers for Excellence for Veteran Student Success were officially opened, providing one location on each San Jacinto College campus for veteran student services.
Manuel, who is studying process technology and already interviewing with companies, said having a place just for veterans at San Jacinto College helps him and his fellow veterans after coming back home and adjusting to college.
"I have a lot of friends who are veterans, and some have post traumatic stress," said Manuel, U.S. Marine Corps veteran. "It can be hard, hard to even get out of the house. But going to school and having a place just for veterans definitely helps."
Crowder, who spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy and is studying business management, said adjusting to civilian life can be a challenge, but is one that is met with assistance at San Jacinto College.
"Here, they treat us very well," said Crowder. "We have our own counselors, our own veterans centers, our own support group. I utilize the services every day."
San Jacinto College had 1,461 veteran students enrolled college-wide last academic year. The College continues to support community and student veterans through a number of projects and events like the Backpacks for Veterans project, Veterans Oral History project, and the Veterans Education Network (VEN). The College also participates in the College Credit for Heroes Initiative (CCHI) administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and works with partner schools across the state to examine ways to award college credits for military experience from all branches of service.
"We are so very proud to have our military service members and veterans here at San Jacinto College," said Keenan. "We will always strive to assist them in every way that we can and offer the resources they need to help them through college and to become successful in their next chapter of life."
For more information on San Jacinto College veteran services, visit sanjac.edu/veterans.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.