The voice of De Anza since 1967.

De Anza veterans honored but “not forgotten”

November 14, 2015


Adrian Discipulo

Rear Adm. Copeland gives a speech celebrating the sacrifices of U.S. troops, and thanks them for their services.

The Student Veterans Association hosted its annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the Main Quad to honor those who have served in the United States military on Wednesday Nov. 11.

De Anza students, faculty, military veterans and their families gathered to listen to speeches by SVA members and guest speakers to show their gratitude to fellow service members and their supporters.

Honorary guest speaker Rear Adm. William W. Copeland, Jr. spoke about the sacrifices service members make to protect the United States; from leaving their loved ones to losing their lives, he stressed the importance of giving them this recognition.

“They set aside their personal ambitions and dreams to protect this country,” Rear Adm. Copeland said. “This country will remain the land of the free only, only if it remains the home of the brave.”

Student Veterans Association treasurer and former Army medic Donald Tietjen spoke about the positive impact the military had on his life. He said the discipline he learned in the Army gave him the direction that he needed to find his path and that he continues to use this instruction as a guide for his life.

“I feel honored, I feel blessed,” said Army wife Cristeena Vigil.

She said that all soldiers and their families go through different experiences and often times can forget they’re not alone. The gatherings are reminders that they have community, she said.

Vigil’s husband Staff Sgt. Johnathan A. Vigil, U.S. Army recruiter, is on campus every Monday to give information to those who want to learn more about joining the army. He said that he enjoyed seeing people come out to De Anza’s event, putting aside personal or political opinions to honor past, present and future service members.

“It’s a huge sacrifice to set aside your beliefs to serve and protect your country,” Staff Sgt. Vigil said.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Cameron Sanchez, 28, liberal arts, science and math major attended the event and expressed the gratitude he had that his campus held a ceremony to honor Veteran’s Day.

“It helps you know you’re not forgotten,” Petty Officer Sanchez said.

The officers involved in SVA said they are hoping that in the future, with the support of De Anza, they can make the campus a host place for more elaborate events. From honorary occasions such as Memorial day, to more proactive events such as food and clothing drives for homeless veterans and transition services for returning service members, De Anza could host similar celebrations.

Angelique M. Barboa, U.S. Navy Reserve and president of SVA said that their ultimate goal is to get more veterans to De Anza campus. She has a message for her fellow veterans.

“We are here,” she said. “ We want you to be a part of where we’re going. We want you to know you are not hidden.”

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