By Tatheana Finney
In celebration of Veterans Day, Amarillo College honored AC students and staff members for their service by hosting an event Nov. 11, 2019 at the College Union Building.
The college held “a little get together and flag folding ceremony,” said Austin Post, a computer information systems major and United States Army reserves specialist. Post said the goal of the event was to “talk about and honor and celebrate our fallen and have an appreciation day for those who we have lost and those who have lost loved ones.”
AC’s vocal jazz group, Drastic Measures, performed the national anthem as Tascosa’s Navy JROTC presented the Flag.
Al Guardino, senior transitional adviser, and Kelly Murphy, veterans services coordinator, were in charge of putting the event together. Both are sponsors of Veterans of AC Together (VETACT) student club and Guardino is retired from the United States Air Force.
“I’m thankful that this college cares about all their students and it is a safe place for veterans to grow from where they were in their service to their country to the next service they will give,” Guardino said.
During the ceremony, people recited the pledge and gave a brief history of the national anthem. The guest speaker, Morgan Canales, a U.S. Army specialist, talked about what it meant for him to serve, why he served and how he continues to serve as a deputy for the Randall County sheriff’s department.
Attendees also learned how the flag connects the veterans during the folding ceremony. Post, Katie Phelan, a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, and her husband, Jamie Phelan, a retired Air Force tech sergeant, explained the 13 folds.
Murphy said that in addition to putting together the ceremony, AC does many things to support veterans.
“I help them use their military education benefits like their GI bills, helping them and their dependents,” Murphy said.
Another way the college assists veterans is through the VETACT club, which provides a place for veterans to talk about their service and transition back into civilian life.
“We can all meet together, talk about prior experiences, help each other out, whether that is school or personal matters, stuff like that,” said Daniel Morrow, a computer science major and veteran.
“It gives them a team, people that they can identify with and people who can help each other as they all move on through,” Guardino said.