A message of the community stepping up to take care of war veterans was the key takeaway from Chemeketa Community College’s annual Veterans Day observance event on Nov. 5.
In his keynote address, Oregon Rep. Paul Evans, a veteran and Chemeketa communications instructor, said every person has a stake in how veterans are treated in America.
“Every time a veteran is dishonored, all of us are dishonored,” Evans said.
America is currently a nation with five distinct generations of war veterans, from World War II to the current conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, Evans said. Many veterans have not received suitable post-war assistance to adjust back to civilian life, with 22 veterans a day committing suicide.
“We need systems and support in place if veterans are to go to war,” Evans said.
The event also included the presentation of colors by the All-Nations Native American Color Guard. The singing of the Star Spangled Banner and additional music was provided by Chemeketa student Anthony Dixon.
The annual event is sponsored by the Chemeketa Veterans Club and Multicultural Student Services.