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Eleven veterans received honorable mention at Raiders football game

Specialist+Brendon+Keeling%2C+26%2C+Drama+major%2C+Army+National+Guard+in+Ala.+and+Calif.+%28center%2C+purple+shirt%29.+He+received+a+medal+along+with+other+veterans+during+football+game%2C+half-time.+Photo+credit%3A+Mary+Altshuller
Specialist Brendon Keeling, 26, Drama major, Army National Guard in Ala. and Calif. (center, purple shirt). He received a medal along with other veterans during football game, half-time. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Specialist Brendon Keeling, 26, Drama major, Army National Guard in Ala. and Calif. (center, purple shirt). He received a medal along with other veterans during football game, half-time. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Specialist Brendon Keeling, 26, Drama major, Army National Guard in Ala. and Calif. (center, purple shirt). He received a medal along with other veterans during football game, half-time. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

Mary Altshuller

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A special ceremony honoring the veteran students of Moorpark College was held during half-time at the Raiders football game Saturday, Nov. 11.

It was a great culmination to end Veterans Week at Moorpark College where a lot of different activities took place both in the Veterans Resource Center and an obstacle course in the Campus Quad.

These activities started with the Field of Flags event on Monday. Flags were distributed by student veterans and other student volunteers.

Personalized notes were attached to some of the flags. Johnny Conley, Interim Grant Director of Basic Skills Student Outcomes and Transformation (BSSOT) & Student Equity of the Veterans Resource Center (VRC), said they worked with the English Department and the Library. This was where students could write personal letters to the vets to let them know they are appreciated.

Conley said 140 flags were put out to remind folks about suicide among veterans. There was a black folding chair in the VRC with the Prisoners of War (POW) logo on the back rest as well as a display of 22 pairs of combat boots.

“These items were put out daily to let people know that there are 22 suicides (on average) committed daily by our troops,” said Conley. “They mostly take place while they’re at home.”

But there was also some fun during Veterans Week. Tuesday was Games Day where anyone could bring in a game and play with the student vets to help them de-stress.

Sam Medellin, 23, General Studies major, works closely with Conley in Student Services and as his secretary. She said mostly there were card games but the mood was great.

“People came in and saw the pizza and there was a lot of talking. Then they looked around and were impressed that we have a lounge. They were like ‘wow, this is great that the school supports you guys by having this area’.”

An obstacle course was set up on the Campus Quad and included some training. There were pull-up bars, overhead push presses, and pull ropes for strengthening, among other things. They had also partnered with the campus radio station so they had a good turn-out.

Medellin did not participate in the obstacle course – classes kept her busy.

“I had classes during that time. Besides I had to run obstacles courses the whole time I was in the Marines so I had enough of that.”

Student veteran Lennon Aviles, 26, Kinesiology major, was also on hand for Games Day. He noticed that the mood was upbeat and that everyone seemed happy.

“I was running around to my classes so I didn’t participate in the obstacle course either,” said Aviles. “But it seemed like everyone was enjoying themselves.”

There were hands-on military equipment provided by the army and the marines. There were little boxes of ammunition and some de-activated grenades. The marines brought in a truck and the army provided backpacks full of items they have to carry when on deployment. These items also included boots and helmets.

A cake-cutting ceremony Thursday in honor of the Marines’ 242 birthday took place. A veteran from the air force came in and gave a talk. He is now very successful and works for Porsche.

Eleven veterans received honorable mention and a medallion at the Raiders football game during half-time that brought Veterans Week to a close.

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