In honor ofVeteran’s Week, Fullerton College and the community came together to celebrate those who served in the armed forces, at the 3rd annual veterans BBQ on Thursday.
The Veterans Resource Center and Veterans Club hosted the barbecue and invited everyone to enjoy some lunch and show respect for veterans who fought for our country.
Scott Thompson, FC Veterans Club president and veteran, opened the event by thanking everyone for coming out and supporting the veterans. It was followed by AMVETS, a veterans service organization, who awarded Thompson with a scholarship for his service and dedication.
Thompson, Veterans Club president since the Spring, was heavily involved in planning the week’s events and hosting the barbeque.
“The event went well, our main goal was to bring awareness to the community and celebrate all the veterans on campus and in the community,” said Thompson.
Recruiters from the Army and Navy were also part of the celebration; they were walking around and interacting with the guests. They have been part of the Veterans Week celebration every year and are closely involved with the school’s Veterans Resource Center.
“The Veterans Club did a good job, and it’s good to see that the community supports their vets,” said David C. Lee, Staff Sergeant for the United States Army.
As the day continued the smell of chili and music filled the air. Laughs were shared and friendships were made, as people gathered around to celebrate.
“It’s my first time here at this event, and I think it’s good,” said Felix Castro, a veteran who served for 31 years. “I’m happy that people came out to support and honor our troops.”
There were also many people that stopped by to take a look at the Wall of Remembrance which was set up on the Quad Monday morning. They searched for names of loved ones and took a moment to remember all of the fallen troops.
“I think this is marvelous,” said Robert Pavlovich, a Marine veteran who served in 1942, a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor. “I love the wall; I think it’s one of the best things that they can do by putting it where everyone can see.”
“The wall’s been my favorite thing from this week, because my father’s on it,” said Summer Maloy, an art major and Veterans Club member. “It’s nice for people who aren’t part of the military to be aware of how many soldiers we’ve lost.”
During the BBQ there were many members of both the Veterans Resource Center and the Veterans Club who were interacting with the veterans. There were a lot of people that came out to celebrate, and it was their dedication that made the event possible.
“This has been a great experience, we’ve had a lot of expansion in the last couple of years, so that’s really positive,” said Sara Blasetti, an academic counselor at the Veterans Resource Center. “Every year the event keeps growing and more veterans and members of the community come out to celebrate, so we’re really happy about that.”
The food was provided by the school cafeteria with some free chili from the Roscoe’s and Heroes restaurant at Downtown Fullerton. They have been volunteering for the barbecue for three years now.
“This was absolutely wonderful, a once in a lifetime experience,” said Paul McKinley, Veterans Resource Center director. “We have 11,000 people on the wall that gave their lives, so it was time for payback.”