For Immediate Release
November, 4, 2014
This ceremony is a reminder that all Americans stand upon a legacy secured by countless military personnel throughout U.S. history. The raising of the flag is also a reminder that all Americans strive to lift up their fellow citizens in order to make their country a better place.
Community members, especially veterans and active military service members, are invited to join the campus community to commemorate the sacrifice of generations who have served the country in the Armed Forces through the raising of the flag by the Army Color Guard in conjunction with the playing of To the Colors by local trumpeter Rick Kemp, and followed by the playing of the National Anthem..
Each year more than 10,000 military service members leaving active duty are projected to make Washington State their home. Even as overseas actions wind down in future years, that number is expected to remain about 6,000 annually after 2016. Our state is consistently third or fourth highest in the nation for Army Unemployment Compensation recipients.
Lower Columbia College has seen many new veterans, and their dependents, enroll this Fall to prepare for careers in the civilian workforce. Our goal is to help them make the most of their education benefits to secure family-wage jobs and to become part of the skilled workforce that supports our regional economy.
Most of the 154 students qualifying for benefits through the GI bill at LCC this Fall are post-911 veterans and dependents of veterans. In addition to the services available to all of our students, we have a talented four-person team, three are veterans themselves, who assist our student veterans with navigating the college process and the requirements to access their education benefits.
LCC veterans are very focused on completing their programs of study in order to re-enter the workforce, according to Alyssa Joyner, a Vet Corps member assigned to LCC. Joyner is a veteran of the Gulf War, 2004-2009, who clearly understands the special needs of returning veterans. She is available to meet with student veterans at the Veterans Corner, upstairs in the LCC Student Center. Working closely with her are Leszek Cromwell, Ian Meskew and Betty Sjoblom.
Leszek, a veteran of Desert Storm 1990-1994, is an Educational Planner in the LCC Advising Office and advisor to the LCC Veterans Alliance student organization. Research shows that students who are part of a cohort and involved in campus activities outside the classroom are more successful in completing their academic programs. Cromwell is working with student veterans to create opportunities to socialize and network together on campus, like Monday morning coffee sessions.