Note: Julianne Le is the recipient of a 2022 VRC Scholarship.

Attendees at the Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 9 bonded over barbecue in Room 1902 as a Star Wars film played in the background. This luncheon was only one of the events meant to gather and honor veterans within the Fullerton College community.

Fullerton College’s Veterans Resource Center invited veterans and other military-connected students to celebrate Veterans Day in a weeklong series of events leading up to the holiday. Veterans Week also included a softball game against the Cypress College VRC, the VRC Golf Classic, and a movie matinee featuring Forrest Gump.

Attendees as the

Attendees at the Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 9 line up for barbecue offered by the VRC. Photo credit: Julianne Le

The VRC offers an intentional space for veterans to fulfill their on-campus and off-campus needs. This program aims to provide student veterans and dependents with a sense of community, specialized scholarships, and emergency funds.

“It’s a quiet place away from the people that allows me to study and have some quality time. There’s a very few number of people that come back and forth, so it is a very tight community,” said Matt Beam, a horticulture major and Marine Corps veteran. Both frequent and occasional visitors to the VRC are able to access help that specifically caters to veterans and their families.

“We’ve been wanting to bring back the camaraderie that we had in previous years to the Veterans Resource Center,” said VRC Coordinator Marwin Luminarias. “So these kind of events remind the veterans that there is a community here on campus for them–there is a space here for them. We’re always happy to see them even if they don’t necessarily need our resources.”

Cadence Killer, daughter of VRC counselor and U.S. Army veteran Jane Killer, plays with a miniature American flag at the VRC's luncheon on  Nov. 9, 2022. As a Veterans Counselor, Jane Killer specializes in supporting veterans and military-connected students at Fullerton College.

Cadence Killer, daughter of VRC counselor and U.S. Army veteran Jane Killer, plays with a miniature American flag at the Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 9, 2022. As a Veterans Counselor, Jane Killer specializes in supporting veterans and military-connected students at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Julianne Le

On Nov. 4, Fullerton College’s VRC defeated Cypress College’s VRC in their annual softball game–despite not practicing beforehand. Members of the VRC were invited to play at the Cypress College Softball Field.

“We didn’t prepare at all, which I thought was pretty ironic because we won, and everybody was getting on base. Everybody was hitting. We all did a pretty poor job at fielding, but the other team, Cypress, they got together four times to practice. We didn’t get no time together to practice, and we still won,” said Raymond Holliday, a physical education major and United States Marine Corps veteran.

A student at the Nov. 9 Veterans Appreciation Luncheon poses alongside a trophy commemorating the Fullerton College VRC's recent win in a softball game against the Cypress College VRC.

A student at the Nov. 9 Veterans Appreciation Luncheon poses alongside a trophy commemorating the Fullerton College VRC's recent win in a softball game against the Cypress College VRC. Photo credit: Julianne Le

The annual VRC Golf Classic returned this year on Nov. 7, inviting over 100 veterans and local community members to play in a tournament held at Eagle Glen Golf Club in Corona. Proceeds from the event are allocated to assistive funds and scholarships that benefit veteran students and military-connected students. The VRC is projected to generate over $50,000 from the event, according to Luminarias.

A banquet followed the golf tournament, highlighting the recipients of two 2022 VRC Scholarships and winners of the golfing competition. After a raffle and silent auction, attendees had the opportunity to sponsor veteran students by donating stipends of $500.

The Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Nov. 9 allowed the VRC community to gather as Veterans Week drew to a close. “The sense of community is super important, especially among veterans because they oftentimes can relate to me in the easiest way, and I don’t have to put on any sort of airs with them. I can just be myself,” said Holliday.

Dr. Nick Arman, veteran and VRC Counselor/Coordinator, delivers a speech highlighting the VRC community before the Nov. 9 Veterans Appreciation Luncheon began.

Dr. Nick Arman, veteran and VRC Counselor/Coordinator, delivers a speech highlighting the VRC community before the Nov. 9 Veterans Appreciation Luncheon began. Photo credit: Julianne Le

VRC partnerships with organizations like Outside the Wire, the Orange County Veteran Service Office, and on-campus departments like the Transfer Center connect veterans with helpful services that value their backgrounds.

“Research has shown that when students are engaged, when they have a community on-campus, they’re more likely to stay and persist–and that’s the mission of Fullerton College,” said Luminarias. “A lot of our veterans have gone to top schools. Some of those student veterans that I’ve worked with in the past, they’ve gone to UC’s, they’ve gone to Stanford, they’ve gone to Berkeley, they’ve gone to Harvard–all of them started here for college, and we’re just part of their journey here.”

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