Veterans Resource Center holds celebration in honor of veterans


Ken "Doc" Honaker laughs with Julius Sokenu, Interim President of Moorpark College, during the Veterans' Day celebration in the quad on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The event honored the members of the Moorpark community that served in the military. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Jennifer Ojeda

On Tuesday, Nov. 12 the Moorpark College Veterans Resource Center kicked off a week long celebration in honor of veterans. The VRC arranged for food trucks, an inflatable obstacle course and informational companies to campus for the festivities. The event included student speaker, Ryan Spires, a prior service member currently enrolled at Moorpark College.

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Marcus Williams, left, and Sabrina Boggs leap down the inflatable obstacle course of campus during the Veterans' Day celebration on Tuesday, Nov. 12. ASMC aided in providing activities and vendors for the occasion. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Students Savana Thomas, Nicola Winokur and Grace Teh from Moorpark College’s music department kicked off the event by singing the national anthem. The performance was followed by an emotional speech by Spires, who shared her story in hopes of raising awareness about resources for students veterans.

“When I started working there [Veterans Resource Center] I started to see that I belonged at Moorpark and not only that but that I could graduate … seeing so many veterans graduate from Moorpark and go on for whatever they wanted it made me realize that I could do it too,” stated Spires.

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Ryan Spires delivers a passionate speech about the experience of being a veteran during the Veterans Day celebration in the quad on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

One of the participating companies located on Raider Walk during the event was Virtuity Financial Partners. Representative and former veteran Andrew DelMarto explained that he participated in the event because he understood the difficult position service members were faced with during their transition back to civilian life.

“Not only does being here give veterans who are looking for something, a business opportunity, but it is also nice to help people by teaching key concepts about how money works,” DelMarto said.

There are approximately 400 veterans enrolled at Moorpark College. The VRC has worked with many of them throughout the four years since opening. Johnny Conley, director of the Veterans Resource Center, believes it is important for veterans to get involved with the program.

“It serves as a student success center and hub for our veterans to help them transition from the military into civilian life … it’s a home away from home,” stated Conley.

The program provides counselors for service members to talk to, free printing and a lounge with free food.

Over the next week Moorpark College will continue to pay tribute to veterans. A memorial is set up on the second floor of the library that will remain until celebrations end on Friday Nov. 15.

Students may also stop by the home football game this Saturday Nov. 16 to honor service members with a salute during half time. Student veterans are always encouraged to visit the Veterans Resource Center for any support services they may need.