Campus Events, Features

Beyond Veterans Day

Matt Nelson (far left) and Jennifer Howard (middle) attend an AFVA meeting about their upcoming Veterans Day ceremony, in the Veterans Resource Center.    | Madison Pearson

How SFCC is serving those who have served

On November 11, Spokane will join the rest of our nation to celebrate Veterans Day to honor all those who have fought for our flag and our freedoms.

SFCC will have a ceremony including the planting of 250 flags in the quad in front of the Falls Library to honor our veterans. In addition to this ceremony, our college has a Veterans Resource Center in the library that offers services to our veteran students year round. They are also training faculty to offer safe spaces for the over 300 veteran students who may need it.

Jennifer Howard is one of the veterans that attends SFCC. She served in the Marine Corps for two years before pursuing a transfer degree in business.

Howard is also the newly elected secretary of the Veteran’s Club which is formally known as the Armed Forces Veteran’s Association (AFVA). She also enjoys doing her homework in the Veterans Resource Center.

“We have computers and tables in the back and it’s a lot quieter than the library,” said Howard. “It’s helpful.”

She also finds that the Veterans Resource Center is a place where she can relate to students that visit the center daily.

“I’ve definitely gotten to know a lot of people here,” Howard said.“Just from having been military, there’s automatically a sense of camaraderie because you know what the others have gone through.”

The staff at the Veterans Resource Center also helps students with different resources and services.

“As a Vet Corps navigator, for any of the colleges in the area, we provide resources and support for veterans and their dependents (their family), and pretty much anyone going to school,” said Matt Nelson, who is a Vet Corp navigator at SFCC.

Nelson served as a Navy Corpsman until November of 2004. Corpsmen usually work in the hospital especially alongside Marines.

He attended a seminar at a Veterans Forum here in Spokane, that led him to volunteer to help out his fellow veterans adjust to life after their enlistment.

“Ex-military have a difficult transition. You get trained to be a soldier but you don’t get trained to be a civilian. The transition can be hard for some people,” said Nelson.

Lane Anderson, the Associate Director of Veterans Affairs here at SFCC, has implemented training for SFCC faculty and staff to be capable of providing veterans with a safe space to talk and feel welcome.

The entrance of the Veterans Resource Center features a card that staff receive after training to help veteran students on campus | Madison Pearson

Veterans can visit these spaces if they feel stressed out from the transition to civilian life or are in need of help when they start to feel symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

The spaces are marked with a white card that has a bald eagle in flight clasping a yellow ribbon in its claws with the words “Veteran Friendly” under a stylized stars and stripes border.

The flag itself is a symbol close to the heart of a veteran.

“It symbolises something bigger than yourself,” said Howard, “As a veteran, the flag is a symbol of your dedication and your service and of course the States.”

The AFVA and the Veterans Resource Center will be hosting the Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, November 9 starting at Noon. The flags will be displayed until Veterans Day which is on a Saturday this year.

 

 

Veterans Resource Center

Room 001 of the Falls Library (Building 2)
(509) 533-3900
Hours: Mondays- Thursdays 9AM – 4PM, Fridays 8:30AM – 2PM.

The AFVA meets at the Veterans Resource Center every Wednesday at 11:30am.

All SFCC Students are welcome to join them.

Editor’s Note: This year’s ceremony was cancelled due to inclement weather. The flags will still be displayed in front of the Falls Library until Veteran’s Day