Written by Jeramey Reamer
In honor of Veterans Day, Front Range Community College recognized its student veterans with a full week of activities. From ceremonies to luncheons, the week of Nov. 6 to 11 was a tribute to the students who have served in the military.
To kick off the week, a large Thank a Vet tree was constructed from paper and filled with leaves written with loving words to our nation’s military. Contributors lined up outside the Student Organization Center to write the names of their loved ones. It did not take long for the tree to become filled with sentimental messages and encouraging thoughts from students to those who are still serving. This tribute is now available for viewing in the Veterans Resource Center, C-0400.
Veterans attending the Quilts of Valor event at Front Range Community College
Later that afternoon, a resource fair was held to inform student veterans of some of the benefits available to them. Oftentimes, the process of using military educational benefits can become overwhelming for students, but FRCC is proactive in guiding students through the many steps that are involved in making their educational goals a reality.
On Wednesday evening, one of the main events of Veterans Week took place. In the FRCC rotunda, a ceremony honored veterans by presenting them with handmade quilts as a way of saying thank you for their service. Students who represented every branch of the military were called forward to be draped in one of the quilts. This was the first time that the Quilt of Valor organization held this event at FRCC, and it was a memorable experience for all who attended.
Veterans at FRCC have a large amount of resources available to them. From academic advising to their own lounge area, faculty have worked hard to ensure that the transition from military to civilian is a smooth and prosperous experience.
Melissa Derhammer, veteran services advisor, played a key role in making the week a success. In addition, Derhammer has helped organize the Art of War project. Through this unique event, veterans are able to use art to express themselves where words fall short.
“We are now offering art therapy classes for Veterans to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” said Derhammer. There will be no charge for the class, and it includes all supplies necessary to channel stress into a creative endeavor.
Fallen Hero Table at the Quilts of Valor event at Front Range Community College
Any veterans who may be interested in getting more involved on campus are encouraged to stop by the Veteran’s Resource Center. Here students will find a wealth of information about veteran services and community events. Travis Garoutte, a student veteran who helps staff the Center, described some of the valuable resources.
“We offer computers with free printing, and also have a shelf of textbooks available so veterans may not have to buy all their books.” said Garoutte, “Any questions the veteran may have, we can get them in contact with that information.”
For Veterans looking to join the FRCC community, there are many opportunities to make an impact on campus.
“My door is always open. Veterans can always reach out to me and discuss their ideas. I encourage every Veteran to get involved,” said Derhammer.
The week was brought to an end by a recognition for those who are currently overseas. By wearing RED (Remembering Everyone Deployed) FRCC veterans showed their solidarity for the women and men who are still active in the military.