California State University held its Fifth Annual Thank-A-Vet ceremony today at the student quad, in front of dozens on veterans and active duty and reserve members of the Armed Forces.
Among those veterans in attendance was U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), who served 16 years in the U.S. Air Force during Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf War and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.
“This event is so important because veterans are returning home and right now many of them are looking for a better education. The CSU Stanislaus Troops to College program is giving them that opportunity,” said Denham.
CSU Stanislaus was recently recognized as a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media and MKI Media Group. It is the third consecutive year CSU Stanislaus has earned the designation for embracing military service members, veterans and their spouses as students, and ensuring their success on campus.
“Seeing our office and programs grow over the years to outreach worldwide and meet the needs of our veterans has been very exciting,” said Nadine Kent, veterans affairs coordinator for the university. “It’s an honor for CSU Stanislaus to be nationally recognized as a military friendly school.”
The guest of honor for the Thank-A-Vet Ceremony was Frank Bettencourt, a World War II Navy veteran, and father and grandfather of two CSU Stanislaus staff members.
On hand for the event were the Turlock High School ROTC, the Patriot Guard Riders, the American Red Cross and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
CSU Stanislaus has also caught the attention of Swords to Plowshares, a not-for-profit veteran service organization that awarded the university a $35,000 grant last summer to develop resources for women veterans on campus and throughout the region. The grant will fund a designated space for women in the Student Veterans Center, along with counseling, professional trainings and the first annual Women Warrior Wellness Conference on Feb. 20, 2014.