Daytona State salutes veterans
Daytona State College saluted military services members on Tuesday, Nov. 11, during a Veterans Day commemoration celebrated on the Daytona Beach Campus by faculty, staff, students and honored guests.
The event kicked off with presentation of the colors by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Color Guard.
DSC President Carol W. Eaton welcomed those who joined in the event, particularly Daytona State’s student veterans. “We stand ready to support you as our student veterans with the tools you need to be successful,” she said. “This is, in fact, the least we can do to honor you for all your sacrifices.”
As keynote speaker, Volusia County Council Chairman Jason Davis, a decorated U.S. Army combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm and 2008 graduate of the college, encouraged attendees to thank a veteran today and welcome them home. “The Constitution set up our laws and the way we run our country, but it will never run correctly unless you have brave men and women who stand up and say, ‘This is a line in the sand and you shall not cross it,’” he noted.
Cathy Heighter, president of the Daytona Beach Chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers Program, a non-profit organization, formed in 1928, to provide emotional, peer and resource support to families who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country, announced a fundraiser to benefit Heroes Memorial Park in Palm Coast, as well as to provide support for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries and the Homes for Heroes organization.
George Jacob, a second-year student and president of Daytona State's Falcon Veterans Society Club, also spoke. Prior to enrolling at the college, he served 14 years in the U.S. Army, where he was deployed twice to Iraq and once to the Mediterranean. “To all of you who have served and are serving, thank you and God bless,” he said. “To everyone else here today, hug a vet.”
The group Rolling Thunder also was on hand. Member Bruce Rosado explained the symbolism behind a “Missing Man Table,” a small empty table setting for one placed at the foot of the assembly stage in honor of the nation’s POWs and MIAs. “The candle is reminiscent of the light of hope that lives in our hearts to illuminate their way home, away from their captors to the open arms of a grateful nation.”
This year, the college also teamed up with amillionthanks.org, inviting students, staff and faculty to write letters of appreciation to veterans, as well as to active and reserve military serving at home, abroad or recovering in hospitals. The Student Government Association is collecting the messages all week and will mail them to the national organization for distribution.
(Nov. 11, 2014)