Although Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year, Valencia College will honor its veterans — both students and faculty and staff — in a series of events during the coming week.
The college’s Veterans Day events kicked off this year on Thursday, Nov. 8, on the college’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando. The event began at 11 a.m. in front of the Student Services Building with an honor guard presenting a gun salute. Sgt. Anthony Cala, a student and former veteran who was deployed three times in Iraq, play “Taps” on the bugle. Valencia student Colby Craig, who is earning a degree in vocal performance, sang the National Anthem, while Susan Andrews, a member of Valencia’s music faculty, played a number of patriotic songs on the flute, including “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” and “Anchors Aweigh.”
A local honor guard, consisting of Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Jones, Staff Sgt. Ari Santiago and Pvt. Pamela Miranda, presented Cala with a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S.S. Arizona in Pearl Harbor.
On Monday, Nov. 12, Valencia’s other campuses will celebrate Veterans Day with the following events:
- East Campus (701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando) will have a color guard, a disc jockey, food tables, a slideshow of campus vets, goody bags and ribbons for veterans to wear all week. East Campus Mall, from noon to 2 p.m.
- Osceola Campus (1800 Denn John Lane, Kissimmee) will hold a breakfast for campus vets from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. with campus president Kathleen Plinske, sponsored by the student government association. At 5 p.m., there will be a public ceremony for the community’s veterans at the Clock Tower, featuring local Civil Air Patrol Cadets and local high school ROTC students, with a keynote presentation by Jasmin Cruz, a current Valencia employee who was a sergeant in the Marine Corps. This will be followed by a reception in the Exhibition Hall and then a panel discussion by our student and employee veterans in the Auditorium from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- Lake Nona Campus (12350 Narcoossee Road, Orlando) is asking students and staffers to wear red, white and blue to honor the campus vets. The campus is also handing out flag pins at the Information Station. Starting at 10:30 a.m., the first 100 people who go to the Little Bean Cafe wearing red, white and blue or a flag pin will receive a free coffee, tea or muffin.
- Winter Park Campus (850 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park) will provide red, white and blue cupcakes and Gatorade, American Flags and “Valencia Supports Veterans” ribbons in the campus portico. In addition, a veterans information table will provide information on resources for veterans. The campus will also provide a message board for students to write messages to vets. The activities run from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The activities will continue throughout the week on East Campus, highlighted by a 1 p.m. ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in which campus vets will perform drill and ceremony demonstrations and march in cadence. This will take place in front of the East Campus library.