Student Veterans of America Lounge Dedication

Jan 13, 2014

A lot has been happening with the Student Veterans of America at EMCC over the past semester, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As I look back on the fall semester, a number of successes come to mind, which were achieved through the hard work of SVA officers and members, as well as EMCC students and faculty. To all of you: thank you for your time and efforts.

One of these successes was the opening of a private lounge for student veterans in Katahdin Hall. This lounge was dedicated to one of our organization’s charter members and first chapter president, Robert E. Gilbert. Robert was passionate about establishing a lounge at EMCC where Veterans could enjoy a quiet place to study and gather. Thanks to the ongoing work of SVA members such as Executive Officer Tyler Hamilton, Commanding Officer Scott Mitchell, and Veterans advisor Heather McGlauflin, Robert’s vision became reality.

The lounge’s grand opening was marked by a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, which Robert’s family led by cutting the red ribbon. President Barrett, who was instrumental to making the lounge happen and is one of SVA’s biggest supporters, was on hand to give opening remarks and praise. Co. Scott Mitchell then introduced Robert Gilbert’s family and presented them with an honorary key to the lounge, as well as membership to the SVA. Honorary memberships were also bestowed upon Dan Belyea, George  Thrift, and Henry Ruiz.

They keynote speaker for the evening was retired Marine Major Dan Cote, who presented on his Summit Project. The Summit Project collects stones from family members of soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. These stones are collected that was of significance to those soldiers. The Summit Project then has them engraved with the soldier’s name, military branch, duty, and death date. These stones will be carried, by volunteers, to the top of Mount Katahdin and back down, making the Summit Project a living memorial. This will commence on Memorial Day 2014.

In addition to the opening of the student veterans’ lounge, the SVA was honored by EMCC during Bangor’s Festival of Lights Parade with the college’s “welcome home” themed Christmas float. The float was dedicated and paid homage to the institution’s student veterans. Veterans and their families, faculty and volunteers road on the float singing a rendition of “Let it Snow,” amended by EMCC staff member Liz Russell, that gave thanks to veterans. It was a bitterly cold night, but the support of the people of greater Bangor warmed us all!

We are looking forward to another busy semester and hope to see many new faces at our meetings. Meetings will be held Wednesdays at 12:00 and Thursdays at 1600 in the Veterans Lounge in Katahdin Hall. Please, give us your name, give us your voice, and we will give back all that we can!

Kerry Marino
SVA Distribution Officer and AmeriCorps Veterans Outreach Coordinator at EMCC



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