PCC Honors Veterans: Educational celebration with wall of honor, timeline
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College is gearing up for a meaningful and educational celebration of Veterans Day this year, focusing on recognizing and honoring the service of military personnel. The PCC Veteran Resource Center (VRC) staff has organized an event scheduled for from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9 in Room 226 of the CC Building at the Sylvania Campus. Veterans Day is Saturday, Nov. 11.
The event promises a variety of activities aimed at providing insights into the customs, culture, and symbols associated with the military. Notable highlights include the Wall of Honor, which pays tribute to PCC staff and faculty who have served in the armed forces. The display also features a Prisoner Of War/Missing In Action (POW/MIA) table and flag area, with explanations for each item to help attendees understand their significance.
A unique addition to the event this year is a timeline board developed by PCC students, showcasing the contributions of veterans in shaping the nation’s history. This timeline underscores the vital role military service has played throughout the country’s development.
Resources for Veterans
Portland Community College provides resources for the sacrifice and service given to the country by U.S. military service members. PCC provides avenues to resources, support and benefits through its Veteran Resource Centers, which are located at all four main campuses.
“We want to draw attention to the stories of people who served, and not the wars or politics of war,” said Walt Ghant, director of the college’s Veteran Services. “We focus on contemporary figures and the intersectional identities of those trailblazers who not only served with pride but who challenged and broke down barriers. We are proud to be highlighting women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, as well as traditionally known and honored veterans.”
In a timely development, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) recently announced the allocation of grants totaling $1,000,000 to enhance Campus Veteran Resource Centers across the state. These centers are pivotal in assisting veterans transitioning from military service to college life and helping them achieve their educational and career goals. PCC was among the 14 institutions to receive a portion of the grant funds.
“Our ODVA partnership continues to provide valuable resources to support PCC student veterans in their quest for academic success and personal development,” Ghant said. “We are excited for the opportunity to utilize the grant funds in support of these important goals. The PCC ODVA partnership is yet another example of collaboration that makes a positive difference in the lives of PCC students and the broader community.”
He said PCC will address three areas – boost participation of students and staff at the national Student Veterans of America Conference; provide financial assistance for PCC student veterans for wraparound support services (childcare, parking, emergency grants); and job fairs.
“A post-secondary degree or course of study at a public university or community college is a critical pathway for many veterans to transition out of the military into a successful civilian career,” ODVA Interim Director Dr. Nakeia Daniels said. “But unlike most students, veterans often have very different life experiences from their peers.
“Campus Veteran Resource Centers provide critical veteran resources and offer support networks with other student veterans, which can drastically improve outcomes and help ensure success for student veterans in their educational endeavors and future careers,” she added.