All-American hamburgers and hot-dogs served as the background — and food — for a sunny high-noon event highlighted by an exchange of wisdom from American military veterans at Kaua‘i Community College Feb. 27.
American military veterans and advocates of all backgrounds attended the event at the Puhi campus to offer support of the continuation of KCC’s Veterans Support Center.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs James Dire, a retired U.S. Coast Guard member, opened the festivities by thanking the Po‘ipu and Hanalei Rotarians and KCC’s electronics engineer Patrick Watase for volunteering time, materials, and labor so that the campus Veterans Support Center can provide an environment with amenities such as computers, WiFi and a lounge.
More than 120 people attended the celebration. Currently, roughly 50 veterans are enrolled at KCC.
The center is also a place where student employees, who are U.S. military veterans, can fulfill their mission to help all veterans who want to attend and succeed in college by providing referrals and assistance. Their services are provided both on and off campus across the island.
Lyle Tabata, from the Office of the Mayor, shared caring and supportive words from Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. for the success of the Veterans Support Center. Kaulana Finn, liaison for U.S Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, presented a framed Congressional Proclamation for the Support Center.
Veteran student employees Foster Brown, Rachel Seeger, Steve Bartel and Keiaikekai Harris were thankful for everyone’s support, including efforts being made toward furthering developing partnerships with the veteran community, assuring that all veterans may receive the support needed to attend KCC and succeed.