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 dedicates butterfly area, shares stories

By Jamil Oakford/se news editor

SE students listened to three retired veterans as they described what the military had done for them, during a Veterans Day observance.

Linah Mohammad/The Collegian
Linah Mohammad/The Collegian

The SE Veterans Association and student activities helped put together the ceremony Nov. 11 in the Commons.

“People talk about how as soldiers we are saving our way of life,” said former staff sergeant and SE business and technology instructional assistant Viola Lindsay said. “But in reality, the military saved me.”

Three veterans shared stories of travel and reminded the audience that sacrifice didn’t come just from their end but also from their families.

“Never forget the sacrifice the families make,” former Lt. Col. Gary Maddux said.

He retired with the Marine Corps in 2011 but was more than happy to don his uniform again.

“I took this off years ago, and it feels good to put this back on,” he said.

Maddux talked about the many exotic locales he’d visited as well.

“I saw the Suez Canal, and I’ll never get to see that again,” Maddox said.

Another retired military veteran shared his wisdom with the gathered crowd in the Commons.

Former Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Allen of the Army, a current TCC student, talked about setting up a group of veterans at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to help welcome soldiers home.

Retired Lt. Col. Gary Maddux speaks to students on Veterans Day. Maddux was one of three veterans that spoke to students, which was followed by the dedication of the Butterfly Way Station.
Retired Lt. Col. Gary Maddux speaks to students on Veterans Day. Maddux was one of three veterans that spoke to students, which was followed by the dedication of the Butterfly Way Station.

“There was a group of Vietnam vets that never missed a day of this,” he said. “It’s important to note that Vietnam vets didn’t get the warm welcome home when they came back.”

Allen also commended this generation’s soldiers.

“They know they’re going into harm’s way when they enlist,” he said.

After hearing a speech from American Red Cross veterans coordinator Jack Wilson, the crowd was invited outside where the dedication of the Butterfly Way Station took place.

“This honors the service of our veterans on campus,” speaker Jarrad Carter said.

The garden has been certified a Blue Star Memorial, and Carter drew the five points of the star to five values that defined a veteran: dedication, knowledge, skill, courage and vision.

The Veterans Association donated $500 to the American Red Cross as well, and both speeches and the garden dedication were followed by a lunch for veterans’ friends and families in the library.

“No, thank you,” Lindsay said. “The pleasure was all mine.”

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