By Max Miranda
The Veteran Resource Center supports a sense of community among students by giving back to the community through volunteer work, charities and organizations.
The VRC hosted a Veterans Appreciation BBQ last Thursday in honor of the Marine Corps’ 248th birthday, Nov. 10.
VRC Director and counselor Jessica Peak said the program works collaboratively with on-campus services as well as outside veteran service providers such as the Veterans Benefits Administration to provide services that focus on academics, community and wellness.
Peak said that the VRC serves all enrolled student veterans, service members and their dependents regardless of their discharge status.
“Our job is not within the confines of the campus… We’re (also) out in the community and county,” Peak said.
Veterans from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Air Force attended the event.
All divisions of the Marine Corps annually celebrate its establishment in 1775.
Peak said one of the traditions of the birthday celebration is the oldest marine veteran cuts the first slice of cake and passes it to the youngest marine veteran who then eats the first slice.
The exchange signifies the passing of tradition from generation to generation.
Rudy Andrade, who was the oldest marine that attended the event, cut the first slice and passed it to Tony Mendoza, the youngest marine.
Andrade said when people say veterans are appreciated he thinks of his appreciation of his dad’s service as a Marine and how that inspired him to join the Marines.
Mendoza said when people show their appreciation of veterans his favorite phrase is, “God bless you and God bless America.”
Marine veteran Christian Chaparro said when civilians say they appreciate veterans, “To me, they recognize our sacrifice… They understand, in theory, that we did more for our country than the average person.”
For more information on the VRC, students can visit the Veterans Center in D7A or call the VRC at (323) 415-5052.