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Veterans appreciated during luncheon

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 14:11

veteran's day

Megan Ferrando

Above, Jessica Ciufi, a financial aid and veteran counselor, (left) and Diane Dejean, a junior business administration major and Army Veteran (right) cut the American Flag cake in honor of Veteran’s Day. The American Flag cake was donated by Winn Dixie.

veteran's day

Megan Ferrando

Each year on Nov. 11 special recognition is given to our veterans.  Many veterans pursue education after serving the country, and about 200 are part of the Southeastern community.

The Office of Veterans Services and the Upward Bound Program, a pre-college program for veterans, hosted a free luncheon for veterans in the Veterans Services office located on North Campus in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

“This is our way of saying thank you for everything they’ve done,” said Jessica Ciufi, financial aid and veteran’s counselor.  “It’s really nothing compared to the service they’ve given our country, but it’s our little token of appreciation. I think when they start getting hungry, we’ll see a lot of the veterans in.”

The luncheon was for veterans who are students, faculty or staff at Southeastern or part of the Upward Bound Program. Winn Dixie donated a flag cake for the luncheon, and Raisin’ Canes donated lemonade.

“It was wonderful.  I love the free food and the knowledgeable staff with the information they provided for me,” said Diana Dejean, junior business administration major who has served in the army.

Recognizing that there are veterans on campus is important according to Chevonne Neal, director of Veterans Upward Bound.  Neal commented on not only the importance of the veteran population around campus, but also the importance of truly recognizing what they went through for their country.

“One of the things Southeastern has been known for is being a military friendly school,” said Neal. “We do reach out to our veterans and let them know they are valuable here.  It being a special population. You continue to learn and find out what you don’t know in terms of what student’s needs are. So that’s what’s very interesting and really just becoming aware globally, around you and in the world.  Bringing those things to your awareness and your consciousness just makes you more appreciative.  We as Americans just take it for granted.  We see it on TV, but we’re just so removed from it so only until it becomes real, until something directly impacts us, is it real. I hope that increases our consciousness and we realize this is real, we are still at war, and things are happening.”

Veterans Day is one day the Office of Veterans Services and Upward Bound Program wanted to serve the purpose of honoring the veterans and recognizing what is still currently going on in the world.

“A lot of our veterans joined the service right out of high school, and they’re sacrificing a normal lifestyle for the safety and benefit of others,” said Jonathan Spitzer, computer science sophomore, previously in the airforce.  “While many of their peers are living a normal college life, they’re across the seas many times going into dangerous war zones and are protecting our freedom of speech and our rights.”

The Office of Veterans Services helps serve veterans seeking or receiving education and available benefits.  Counseling, information, enrollment information and more is offered.  
The Office of Veteran Services is located on North Campus in the Financial Aid building, Rm. 132.  The office can be contacted through 985-549-3929.


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