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Danville Community College campus veterans gathered in recognition of service 

Danville Community College honored veterans either enrolled in classes or employed by the college during its annual Veterans Appreciation Day event on Thursday, November 10. Pictured are the veterans and speakers honored at the event, including Robert Spears, Charlie Adams, Scott Harris, Kenneth McClary, John Wilt, Jack Short, Sherman Saunders, John Bailey, J.P. Williams, Dr. Ed White, and Charles Dowell.

 

DCC recognizes campus veterans

 

(November 10, 2016)  – Danville Community College recognized faculty, staff, and 59 student veterans from the United States military during its annual Veterans Appreciation Day on Thursday, November 10.

“The purpose of the event is to recognize, honor, and express respect and appreciation for our veterans who made a sacrifice in service for our country,” said JoLane Tilley, event coordinator. “Sometimes, veterans are the forgotten population: some are homeless, lack medical care, are underserved, and are underappreciated. We cannot show our appreciation enough for their service.”

The event, led by Middle College Director Donald Pippin, consisted of the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, veteran speakers Dr. Ed White, former dean of Business and Engineering Technologies, and Sherman Saunders, former mayor of the City of Danville, a reading of campus veterans’ names, branches of service, and years of service by Dr. Vince Decker, professor of business management, a poem reading by Sharon Harris, Educational Opportunity Center director, and the playing of “Taps.”

“Freedom is truly not free, but it is precious,” White said.

College faculty and staff recognized during the event included DCC Head Baseball Coach John Bailey, U.S. Army Sergeant, First Cavalry Division, Vietnam, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, 1969 – 1971; Professor John Wilt, USAFR Colonel, 30 years combined active duty and reserve service, and served as a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI); Jack Short, U.S. Army, eight years (2002-2010), deployed to Iraq in 2005; Kenneth McClary, U.S. Army, 12 years (2002-2014), deployed to Iraq in 2010; Willie Fitzgerald, U.S. Army, 21 years (1986-2007), deployed to Kosovo in 1999 and deployed to Iraq in 2005; Joseph Northen, University of Richmond ROTC, commissioned 2LT in the U.S. Army Reserve in Armor, served 1968 – 1971 in Japan and Korea and obtained the rank of captain; and Raleigh James, E-4 sergeant, U.S. Air Force, 8th Air Force Strategic Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

“Veterans are friends, neighbors, and coworkers and they are an important part of their communities,” Saunders said. “The phrase ‘thank you’ is made up of two words and eight letters. We don’t hear them enough and we don’t say them enough. These two words and eight letters earn their stripes when we look into someone else’s eyes and say them with our hearts.”

59 veteran students enrolled in classes at DCC for the fall semester. Dr. Carl Amos, veterans counselor, is the first person veterans speak with when they want to attend DCC.

“I am the initial contact for the vets and handle program placement,” Amos said. “Once they have been tested and program placed, I escort them to financial aid, where they register for the GI Bill and financial aid.”

“The majority of our veteran students use the post-911 GI Bill; this program provides up to 36 months of educational benefits to the students which include payments of tuition and, in many cases, a book stipend is also given directly to the students,” said Mona Snead, financial aid administrative assistant. “The Post-911 program is for those individuals who served on active duty on or after 9/11/2001. If the student served at least 30 continuous days on active duty and were discharged due to a service-connected disability they may still qualify for these benefits.  Under this program, the veterans are eligible for 15 years from the date they were last discharged or released from a period of active duty.”

There are also a number of other financial aid opportunities available to veterans at DCC.

“Some of our students also use Chapter 35 (Dependents). This program is set up for dependents of veterans and will cover, in most cases, the full cost of tuition for a student. We have a few who use Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation). This program also covers 100 percent of the costs of books and tuition. Lastly, a few students use Chapter 1606 (Reserves). This program covers the tuition costs for those in the reserves,” Snead explained. “I think it is of utmost importance that our veterans have access to resources like the GI Bill and other veteran educational benefits as this can aid them in paying for educational expenses and obtaining a degree and employment in a field of their choice. We want our veterans to know that we are here to assist and support them in their educational needs in any way that we can.”

For more information about veterans events and services at DCC, contact Dr. Carl Amos at camos@dcc.vccs.edu or 434-797-8572.


Click here for more photos from DCC's 2016 Veterans Appreciation Day

 

 

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