Bristol Campus Veterans Day Celebration
Dec 10, 2013
The Bristol Campus held a ceremony to honor veterans on Wednesday, November 13th. The ceremony featured guest speaker Army Captain John Wasik and food prepared by student David Roach. Captain Wasik has served three active duty tours--one in Somalia and two in Iraq. He currently serves in the Reserves and as a recruiter for the East Tennessee State University Army ROTC cadets. Captain Wasik spoke about the cultural differences that he encountered while serving in both Somalia and Iraq. He briefly described earning his Combat Infantry Badge in Somalia in 1993.
Sacrifice is a word commonly used to describe what is required to serve in the United States Military—especially when it comes to one’s personal safety, family, and time. At the end of the ceremony, each student, faculty member, and guest veteran in the audience was invited to stand up and briefly describe his/her service. After doing so, each veteran was honored with applause and a special gift.
National College strives to honor and welcome veterans and there are more than 20 who either work for or attend the Bristol Campus location alone. More than one dozen veterans are students. Three of those students are Gene A. Johnson Jr., DeMarcus Clark, and Joshua Bowen. Gene is an Army veteran who was deployed twice to Iraq from 2004-2008. He is obtaining his degree in business administration-management and chose National College because, “it is veteran friendly.” Gene added that he knows that National College will help him to “return to my former job as a Department of Defense civilian in a management position.”
DeMarcus Clark, Army veteran 1999-2003, was deployed to a peace-keeping mission in Bosnia in 2000. He is pursuing his degree in network administration. “I didn’t want to work in a factory job for the rest of my life and I wanted to challenge my mind,” said DeMarcus. His future career goals include working for an IT company and “fixing computers on the side.”
Joshua Bowen, Army veteran, served two tours in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2010. He is double majoring in business management and office technology professional. He will graduate this month. “When I got out of the military, the job market was not great and in order to find a job I was comfortable at I needed to get an education,” said Josh. He chose National College because “it was close to home and I always wanted to go to a technology school. I was never much for big universities.” After he graduates, Josh plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at National College. After that he would like to obtain a government job and/or operate his own business.
Army Captain John Wasik talks to students during a Veteran’s Day ceremony in the student lounge.