“Transcending Obstacles to Pursue New Endeavors”, NSDCAC’s Third Annual Armed Forces Day Luncheon and Educational Forum, was a memorable tribute to student veterans as well as a celebration of our community armed forces members. The event was held in collaboration with the Veteran Services and Black Student Center on the campus of California State University San Marcos on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Following a presentation by the Camp Pendleton Young Marine Unit and a statement of purpose by Soror Dr. Emily Streeter, Commander USPHS, Lt. Colonel Eddie Bickham, USMC (Ret) delivered an inspiring message encouraging graduates as they plan for life beyond CSUSM. A panelist of service members including, Captain Charles P. Jones, V, Alex Murray, US Army Veteran and FBI Special Agent, Claudia Orregal, USMC Veteran, and Tomas Villanueva, CWO4, USMC (Ret) shared their experiences and motivation for overcoming some of life’s challenges. Dr. Patricia Reilly, Commander USN (Ret) and Director of Veteran’s Services at CSUSM, shared moving stories of five graduating student veterans who were presented with certificates and scholarships. The honorees were Ricky Briere, Claudia Orregal, Ana Ortizsorio, Stephen Vandereb and Michael Woods. The event culminated in the presentation of the Community Impact Award to Al Owens, Retired Lieutenant Escondido Police Department and USMC (Ret).