College gets Purple Heart designation during Memorial Day ceremony

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Sixty attended the Memorial Day ceremony Monday in Loftin. Luis Arellano, retired chief petty officer, speaks with President Robert Vela about the donated American Flag that was flown over Kabul, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom on Sept. 1, 2012. The flag, which was donated by the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, will be displayed in the veteran's affairs office. Photo by Alyssa Zapata

Sixty attended the Memorial Day ceremony Monday in Loftin. Luis Arellano, retired chief petty officer, speaks with President Robert Vela about the donated American Flag that was flown over Kabul, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom on Sept. 1, 2012. The flag, which was donated by the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, will be displayed in the veteran’s affairs office. Photo by Alyssa Zapata

College receives U.S. flag flown in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

By Alyssa Zapata

azapata84@student.alamo.edu

 

This college was designated a Purple Heart College by Bill Crumlett, adjutant of the Department of Texas Military Order of the Purple Heart, during a Memorial Day observation March 25 in Loftin Student Center.

The proclamation is a recognition that this college serves and supports students who are veterans and shows patriotism in doing so.

“The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration created by George Washington and is the first American service award for a solider,” Crumlett said.

With 3,500 to 3,800 student veterans, this college is committed to working toward giving the veterans a place to continue their education, President Robert Vela said.

“This is a testament to the wonderful work our veterans affairs office does here to provide an environment that is welcoming and engaging and tells the community we welcome our veterans,” Vela said.

During the ceremony, Luis Arellano, retired chief petty officer, presented the college a framed American flag flown in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“Flags are flown out to families, colleges and business to say thank you for supporting our troops,” Arellano said.

The flag was flown over the U.S. embassy while it was under fire during Operation Enduring Freedom on Sept. 1, 2012, he said.

Jennifer Alvizo, director of veterans affairs, said, “We will proudly display this flag in our office of veteran affairs from this day forward.”

Veterans make up about 10 percent of students at this college, Vela said.

“We have to continue to be responsive to our veterans’ needs and ready to act on their suggestions,” Vela said.

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