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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Veterans encouraged to use military skills

Veterans+encouraged+to+use+military+skills

By Audrey Werth/tr news editor

Students, faculty and staff joined to honor veterans at TR Campus’ Veterans Day Luncheon Nov. 11 where a speaker discussed what skills the military taught and urged veterans to apply them in their everyday lives.

For the past four years, TR has participated in the National Roll Call, a grassroots effort to read the names of all troops who have died. TR students read more than 6,000 names the first year. This year, 68 names were read.

“Today, we honor those who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan with our National Roll Call,” said Adrian Rodriguez, vice president for student development services. “Today, we remember the more than one million American men and women who have given their lives for their country since our nation’s founding.”

Each year, the reading is recorded and included as audio along with the Memorial Wall in the Rotunda.

Learning center coordinator Steven LeMons talked to veterans on Nov. 11 about taking what they learned in the Army and applying it to their everyday life. Audrey Werth/The Collegian
Learning center coordinator Steven LeMons talked to veterans on Nov. 11 about taking what they learned in the Army and applying it to their everyday life. Audrey Werth/The Collegian

Robert Tracy, a TR sophomore and a veteran, said the reading of the names moved him deeply and conjured many memories.

“Although we may not know any of those individuals, we start thinking about the friends … that we were in the military with that didn’t come back with us,” the Navy veteran said.

Keynote speaker Steven LeMons, learning center coordinator, used his experience as an Army veteran to give meaning to the ceremony.

“My goal is to leave both veterans and civilians with a richer concept of the meaning of what this day is truly about,” LeMons said.

LeMons began by reminding veterans of what boot camp was like.

“There are some things you learn in basic training that you never forget,” he said. “They [drill sergeants] were there to totally strip you down only to bring you back up again.”

Members of the Army, he said, always do what is expected of them and do it to the best of their abilities.

“Given the right opportunity, you could actually exceed your own expectations,” he said.

LeMons also asked that Americans remember those who selflessly risked their lives for the country and are now disabled or homeless.

“On any given night, there are almost 50,000 homeless veterans,” he said.

TCC staff and community members said they came to the luncheon to show their support of veterans and their dedication to helping them succeed.

LeMons speech resonated with TR sophomore Selena Ponce.

“He seemed very proud to be a veteran. He was very honest and humble,” she said.

TR sophomore Mariah Rayna also enjoyed the speech.

“I really liked the motivational part, asking veterans to look around and look for support,” Rayna said.

TR has an active veterans association, which is now a chapter of a national veterans group.

“I never saw myself as a leader, but TCC has brought the leadership out of me,” said Tracy, previously a homeless veteran, who has been TR veterans association president.

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