By Joshua Maloney, President of the Veterans Club
The Veteran Club at Cape Cod Community College (4C’s) is once again active and has become Nationally affiliated with Student Veterans of America. Established in at least 1978, the Veteran’s Club at 4C’s has had several names but has always focused on Student Veterans and their pursuit of education on Cape Cod. The current club President, Joshua Maloney, has been working with the club for over a year and has seen it go from an unaffiliated Veteran Ally Group to a nationally recognized chapter in Student Veterans of America. Club Vice President Clair Linder has also completed much of the work. The college club is very thankful for the School’s military and Veteran Services Advisor, John Alexander.
Last semester’s Veteran’s Week Celebration at 4C’s included multiple events in November of 2020. Subject matter experts from state, local, and federal agencies came together with our club to provide recorded information sessions and opportunities for Q&A as club leadership interviewed and networked. We were incredibly honored to have Charles U. Daly and his son, who recently compiled the book “Make Peace or Die.” The emotional interview showed many similarities in how we can advocate for ourselves and continue to serve after a traditional service ends, which Mr. Daly did by living a lifetime of service.
Additionally, we were honored to have Ervin “Tootsie” Russel speak to Maloney. This man, who had faced racial injustice, joined the service during the Vietnam War after realizing the likelihood of his draft. He faced numerous barriers after his service when benefits to veterans were only beginning and were notoriously brutal. Russel’s story is inspiring to any veteran who wants to better their life using education. He admitted that VA educational services brought him from homeless to a congressional aid.
A key takeaway from planning, hosting, and evaluating these events is that the veteran community is more significant than the veterans who served. Civilian children, parents, friends, organizations, and professionals make the Veteran community more immense and powerful. Veterans can leverage their military service to make the world and our schools better places, and civilian allies support military members, veterans, and the people who depend on them. Support for our military and veteran members may often begin with their families and friends, but it has expanded to numerous organizations and individuals.
These events, in addition to the recent establishment of Student Veterans Of America at 4C’s have led to Maloney’s invitation to speak at a panel at this year’s NatCon. In particular, to discuss starting and growing an SVA Chapter and how to turn a smaller chapter into an influential member of a campus community.
This semester, a video placing Student Veterans at 4C’s in the national light, was a recent advertisement for the NatCon by College President. The satirical 42-second clip shows Maloney on a beach in Barnstable in January. He is wearing an SVA T-shirt, sunglasses, and a bathing suit. He states that he has heard of the National Conference but is unsure if it is better than being on the beach on beautiful Cape Cod. The irony is that Cape Cod winters are notably cold. Student Veterans of America official Facebook and LinkedIn pages shared the video.
There are virtually unlimited ways to assist, collaborate with, and learn from veterans and military members for those who have not served. Local organizations and clubs accept donations of all types for veterans in need. The Department of Veteran Affairs is the largest healthcare provider globally, and specialists in every field are increasingly needed. The VA, along with countless other state and private organizations, provide care to veterans. The National organization of SVA prides itself on being the most inclusive college organization in America. Our National headquarters, SVA at 4C’s, aims to be the most inclusive club on campus. Military service is unnecessary to join, and there are indefinite ways and reasons to interact with and learn about our college’s student veterans.
If a student at 4C’s is interested in any career field that could apply to veterans’ service, joining Student Veterans of America at 4C’s will be incredibly rewarding and beneficial. Begin to network with local, state, and national organizations and show the student veteran population you care deeply.
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Below are links to our past highlighted and future events.
Events we hold:
SVA @ 4C’s open Virtual Lounge
Every Friday at 11 am
SVA @ 4C’s and the Cape Cod Center Present Monthly Virtual Meetings
Second Friday of Each Month at 1 pm
SVA @ 4C’s Leadership Meetings
Bi-weekly Fridays at 10 am
Link: Invite only if interested in Leadership, please email Joshua.Maloney@CapeCod.edu
Hosted by an initiative and collaboration with New England Schools of Higher Education
4 pm-5 pm via Zoom
February 10, February 24, March 10, March 24, April 7, and April 21
Join thousands of students from across the country, inspiring speakers, leading employers, and thought leaders to exchange ideas and best practices on topics that matter: thriving in a virtual world, growing and sustaining your SVA Chapter, funding and fundraising, addressing racial injustice, and more.
February 19-20, 2021
Last semester events:
4C’s Celebrates Veteran’s Week was a week of events in November of 2020. The week hosted presented topics applicable to any student veteran, but also students’ staff.
- Judith Berger MST and the Survivor (Military Sexual Trauma). The week started with a real look at the trauma too many service members face while serving. What are resources, and how can we understand and help.
- Awareness of Programs & Services for Veterans. Club Vice President, Clare Linder, has a discussion with local veteran advocates to show networking power.
- College President Joshua Maloney sits down with Ervin “Tootsie” Russell, a Vietnam veteran with a powerful story to tell about his time since the war.
- Michaela Black & Understanding VA Educational Benefits. About the GI Bill/VR&E programs. Q&A with Club President at the end.
- What can I do for my country now? In this emotional interview, Joshua Maloney meets Charles U. Daly and his son, Charlie Daly. They discuss Charles’s service in Korea, his time assisting JFK in his Presidency, and what motivates him to continue to serve by publishing a book about his experiences.