Veterans Resource Center observes Veterans Day early

Veteran’s Day came early this Thursday when the Santa Monica College Veterans Association gathered at the school’s memorial clock tower to honor the holiday. The gathering began with an address by SMC Student Veterans Association (SVA) President Jennifer Garcia, who voiced her passion for the importance and significance of vets today and in history past, despite never having served in the military herself.

“From the fields of Gettysburg to the deserts of the Middle East, today we remember and honor every man and woman who has worn America’s uniform and who have sacrificed and put their lives on the line to give us all a life of freedom, safety, and opportunity,” Garcia said.

Once Garcia had completed her welcoming address to those in attendance, U.S. Army Sergeant and SMC student Sir Dwight Tashibish performed his own rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Several SMC student veterans gave short speeches, including Staff Sergeant Claudia Patricia Acosta, who is also the SVA’s vice president.

“To me Veteran’s Day has always been very important,” she said. “But now as a veteran it has a very special meaning. On this day I remember my friends, those that are no longer here, I remember those before me that paved the way, and I honor those who are currently serving.”

The special guest speaker, however, was U.S. Army Captain and self-described historian Kris Bachmann.

Bachmann began his speech with a history lesson, covering the casualties and violence of war as it progressed through the ages. He notes that it is also the anniversary of the start of the first World War, and he went on to describe how the country's Veteran’s Day observance came about from Armistice Day.

Afterwards, he shared an anecdote about how he once got his vehicle stuck in a hole, and what he learned from that experience. “There’s always going to be an obstacle in life that is going to come out of nowhere,” he said. “I would advise that you find a better way to get out of it than just losing a tire, but sometimes that’s all you have.”

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