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New student organization celebrates club’s first Veterans Day event

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New student organization celebrates club’s first Veterans Day event

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Washington state Rep. Richard Muri shares military experiences, encourages veterans to get involved in their community.

Carl Carallas / Staff Photo
Washington state Rep. Richard “Dick” Muri, a former lieutenant colonel, shares his memorable moments of 22 years in the U.S. Air Force and how that experience led him to where he is now.

The room fell silent as Lakes High School JROTC members entered the room with the Washington state and nation’s flags. The “Star Spangled Banner” in acapella echoed throughout Pierce College’s Performance Lounge.

Retired and student veterans gathered to remember the meaning of Veterans Day at an event hosted by the college’s Student Veterans Organization Thursday. This was the SVO’s first on-campus Veterans Day celebration since the club’s ratification in spring.

Washington state Rep. Richard “Dick” Muri, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and guest speaker at the event, emphasized the importance of veterans supporting each other.

“My biggest recommendation for military members after leaving the service is: Get involved in your community. Meet people. It’s important,” said Muri, encouraging veterans to call him on personal cell phone if their community isn’t meeting their needs.

Carl Carallas / Staff Photo
The Student Veterans Organization Vice President Ricardo Cintron (left) and President Chris Galbreath (right) coordinated a Veterans Day celebration to honor service members in the community.

SVO’s Vice President Riccardo “Rick” Cintron said the college ranked among the top five in the nation for veterans. Despite Pierce’s national recognition, the event wasn’t focused on publicizing the school’s achievement or recruiting student veterans. Instead the overall focus was to thank veterans and encourage them to connect with other veterans at the college.

One of the mantras soldiers follow are to never leave a brother or sister behind. Pierce SVO is doing just that by providing service members with a network of student veterans who can help them navigate their college experience.

“In the military, we are taught about courage. It takes a different type of courage to go back to school–an inner courage,” Cintron said.

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