Columbia College to use green light initiative to honor veterans
COLUMBIA – Columbia College plans to use a recent grassroots initiative to honor veterans in the community and assist them in their daily lives.
Keith Glindemann, the Director of Veterans Services at Columbia College, called it green lights for veterans.
“You’ll find green lights lit around campus this week,” he said.
The nationwide initiative serves to give veterans an opportunity to return to their civilian lives.
“Once they get out of the military and transition back into the civilian world, they might get a chance for schooling and for jobs to assimilate back into their normal lives,” Glindemann said.
Another unique initiative offered at Columbia College is the green zone initiative.
“The green zone, in military terms, is known as a safe place,” he said. “What we’ve done is create a faculty and staff training program based off a national model where faculty and staff can learn more about how they can better assist veterans.
“Our first program was in August, and our goal is eventually to train 100 percent of faculty and staff,” Glindemann said.
In addition to these programs, the college has full day’s schedule dedicated to Veterans Day.
Schedule of events for the day includes:
- Flag raising ceremony at 7:45 in Bass Commons
- Remembrance ceremony at 11:30 in Student Commons
- National Moment of Silence at 12:55 at the military service
- Military service tree lighting at 5:00 in Bass Commons
Glindemann emphasized the remembrance ceremony will honor fallen veterans since last year’s Veterans Day. He also said the military service tree lighting is to represent all of the veterans in the community.
Tom Devlin, a U.S. Army veteran in Vietnam, said he still gets emotional this time of year reflecting on the past.
“The memories have faded somewhat and they’re not as vivid as they once were, but the images of all the lives that were shortened and starved still stick with me.”
He said seeing events and ceremonies over the years just makes him and his fellow veterans feel appreciated by the community.
“It just shows appreciation for those who served and it’s nice to just be recognized,” Devlin said.
He noted the best advice he could people dealing with veterans is patience.
“It’s really rough for some veterans who went through tough times, so it just takes a little patience now.”