SMC Honors their Veterans

Riflemen and flag-bearers marched onto Santa Monica soil, holding the United States flag and the flag of the California Republic. One of the members issued the order to present arms. The California flag then sank to an angle, as another member headed to the podium and performed the National Anthem. As the anthem ended, all in attendance rose from their seats and stood in salute to perform the Pledge of Allegiance, finishing the yearly tradition of honoring both the US and its veterans.

On Friday, Nov. 9, 2017, the SMC Student Veteran's Association held a Veteran's Day Ceremony. The event was mainly a prelude to the various events the veterans would attend.

The focus of the ceremony centered around the guest speakers: Air Force Capt. Brittany Stackhouse, U.S. Army Veteran Jennifer Campbell, and student speaker Noe Aguirre, a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran.

Each shared their stories of being in the military, the reasons why they joined, the hardships both past and current vets face, and the experience of being a veteran. They all inspired not only the veterans, but also the students in attendance. The veteran also reminded everyone that the sacrifices both past soldiers and current made to protect their country mattered.

Attending veterans also shared their own sentiments as to what Veteran's Day is and what being a veteran means to them. Frank Soto, a Vietnam War veteran who served two tours, believes that, "It's a source of pride, because when I was a young man, I didn't appreciate some of the things I did. It wasn't until after I got old."

Even one of the speakers, Jennifer Campbell, shared her thoughts on Veteran's Day, "It's something that I really enjoy spending with other veterans and that's become really important." Campbell said. "I've really seen, as I've gotten older, the benefits of what being a veteran really is, and the camaraderie that comes with that, and the kind of beauty of being a veteran is that everybody has a different story and you get together."

As the ceremony closed, young and old veterans in attendance began to meet and discuss their experiences and headed off to what SMC had to offer for them.