The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE Campus veterans share military experiences with students

By Marley Malenfant/se news editor

SE Campus students and faculty celebrated freedom and paid homage to U.S. military servicemen and women on Veterans Day Nov. 11.

ROTC students form Arlington ISD marched their way to the stage. Veterans were right behind them, introducing themselves and stating their reasons for joining the military.

During the veterans’ speeches, students and faculty members showed their emotions. Many were in tears.

Current service members and veterans gathered with SE students in the Commons and discussed their service in the military.

Homer Puckett, a retired Army veteran, said during his time on active duty, he gained an experience he would never get at home.

“I served 20 years and four months in the Army. I’ve served in Vietnam and Desert Storm,” he said. “You are never the same person when you come back to the States.”

Jonathan Gonzalez, SE student and Air Force veteran, said serving six years in the Air Force gave him a sense of patriotism. Gonzalez said he loves seeing people show that patriotism on campus.

“I get a since of pride driving to school and seeing the flags,” he said. “It’s a positive thing for people to see.”

SE student Alex Haney said he enjoys when Americans gather to show their respect.

“I love America. I left Italy for America four years ago,” he said. “It’s great to see Americans come together to thank their veterans.”

Chester Williams said Americans use Veterans Day to show respect to the veterans who are still living and need appreciation.

“We have Memorial Day to honor the dead soldiers. We use this day to honor the ones who are alive and the sacrifices they make,” he said. 

Travis Smith said recognizing the trouble that veterans go through is what makes Veterans Day important.

“They fight for us because I know I wouldn’t do it,” he said. “They’re the reason we are here in the first place.”

Paul Anderson, an ROTC instructor for Arlington High School, said Veterans Day is an appreciation Americans owe to the sacrifices veterans make.

“We use this day to honor the flag, and the flag represents longevity, happiness, forgiveness and free speech,” he said.

“We must defend this flag. We have over 200 years of history, and we don’t want to take a step back.”

Landon Stinnett, an Air Force veteran and SE student, said there wouldn’t be an America without the services of the military.

“It’s all about sacrifice. Without the military, we wouldn’t have the freedom that this country has,” he said.

Philip Rasmussen, an Army veteran, said Veterans Day isn’t looked upon as a national holiday.

“It’s a forgotten holiday,” he said.

“Every time I hear the anthem, I think of my past friends that I served with, and it was an honor to serve with them.”

Dexter Mitchell, another Army veteran, said young adults don’t understand the adversity that veterans deal with overseas.

“Veterans today are not appreciated enough,” he said. “I don’t think young people understand that veterans fight for their freedom, and they’re able to have it so good.”

Pfc. Raquel Deleon, SE student, said it seems most Americans don’t understand what living in America really means.

“It’s just another day to most Americans. It seems that Americans lose that patriotic feel,” she said.

“People just seem to be pulling away from what’s really important.”

Deleon said she sees more international people like herself joining the military.

“I meet so many people who are not from America join the military,” she said.

Originally from Nicaragua, Deleon said she did not have the freedoms there that she enjoys here.

“I love this country,” she said. “I know that sounds cliché, but this is a great country. I love the structure and feel of the military.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian