Community invited to attend EdCC ceremony to honor veterans Nov. 1

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Edmonds Community College will host its fifth annual Veterans Day Celebration from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, on campus in the Black Box Theatre.

Edmonds CC welcomes students and employees, as well as veterans from surrounding communities who served during times of war and peace, to the celebration. The public is also invited to attend this free celebration.

“Veterans Day is a time to celebrate the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have worn the uniform of our armed services and put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf,” said Chris Szarek, director of the Edmonds CC Veterans Resource Center (VRC) and retired U.S. Navy Seabee.

This year’s event will honor U.S. Army veterans. The guest speaker will be Dr. Bill Keppler, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) Emeritus.

Originally a representative of Idaho, Keppler was later appointed CASA at-large for all western states and was given emeritus status with a lifetime appointment. He is also a recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal and the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service Medal from the Sixth U.S. Army.

Keppler is a long-standing supporter of Edmonds CC and its veterans programs, serving as co-chair of the college’s $1 million Boots to Books and Beyond campaign to raise funds to establish the VRC. He also served as chair of the college’s Creative Retirement Institute advisory board.

Edmonds CC President Dr. Jean Hernandez, whose father was a WWII Army veteran, will be the guest of honor.

“President Hernandez was instrumental in creating the Veterans Resource Center,” Szarek said. “She was one of the key players in the Boots to Books and Beyond campaign and has been exceptionally supportive to veterans on campus.”

Veterans who have served from WWII to present will be in attendance.

“I hope to welcome our campus community, especially students,” Szarek said. “I encourage all of our students to come and learn about military and veteran culture, and also to come and meet people who have served.

“These veterans embody a lot of history. While you may take a history class or read about historical events in a book, this is an actual opportunity to talk to someone who was there and to say, ‘Thank you for your service.’”

The ceremony will feature musical performances, including the Armed Forces Medley, recognition of Edmonds CC employees who have served in the U.S. military, light refreshments by Baker’s Angels, and more.

The Black Box Theatre is in Mukilteo Hall on the Edmonds Community College campus at 20000 68th Ave. W., Lynnwood. For directions and a campus map, go to edcc.edu/campus.

Edmonds CC has been designated as a military friendly school. The college is also home to the Veterans Resource Center that serves the needs of over 200 veterans and their family members attending Edmonds CC by providing Veterans Affairs counseling and certification, an on-site mental health professional, career counseling, and an inviting place to meet other veterans.

The center is funded by the Edmonds CC Foundation’s Boots to Books and Beyond Campaign.

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