Diablo Valley College organized a series of events last week dedicated to and honoring its veteran students. Much of the week was planned in cooperation with organizations associated with DVC.
All of the events focused on equity, which Rose Armendariz, Dean of Student Engagement and Equity, said is an important value to veterans.
“I think equity relates on several levels,” she said. “We’ve identified a number of student groups that we consider equity groups, or what we call disproportionately impacted groups. Veterans are one of the groups that we provide services for so that they can be successful at DVC.”
Armendariz created a schedule for the week which included: personal growth day, Veterans Activities Day, a “Welcome Home” event, and a flag raising event.
She hoped that throughout Veterans Week, the school would acknowledge veterans’ needs for support and foster a helpful academic environment.
“It’s important that they feel celebrated as students and as veterans, because that’s an identity that they carry,” said Armendariz.
Support includes helping veterans transitioning into civilian life, connecting them to different schools, and providing financial support.
She also said the event will directly help veterans by making them feel seen and recognized.
“It’s important to know that the communities we live in respect all of us, and that veterans feel like DVC is their community,” she said.
The Veterans Alliance also pitched in to set up the event. Katie Edgecomb, the president of the club, joined the military out of high school.
“I attended the army for two years and was a military police officer stationed in Hawaii before I came home,” said Edgecomb, who later enrolled as Private First Class and worked as a military police officer.
“Most of my training was to be deployed because 9/11 had just happened when I went into the service,” said Edgecomb.
She is currently attending DVC for her third fall semester to pursue a career in business accounting but also takes electives as a creative form of self-discovery. Her goal is to transfer to UC Berkeley, then return to DVC and become an accounting professor.
DVC also recruited Sentinels of Freedom for the event, a community of veterans who work closely with the Veteran’s alliance and promote awareness for veterans on campus.
“We’re here for recruiting purposes, discussing college options, and showing people what we have to offer,” said Joshua Peterson, staff sergeant who served 15 years in the military across the world.