Tuesday, November 10, 2020

CVTC Marks Veterans Day

Safety during pandemic still a top concern

Article Photo - CVTC Marks Veterans Day

Chippewa Valley Technical College Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement student Zak Joyce, 25, likes to celebrate Veterans Day by connecting with fellow veterans in the “Green Corps,” a term referring to all veterans of the branches of the United States Military forces.

“I like to check on how they are doing and let them know the country really appreciates what they do,” said the U.S. Marine Corps veteran who is a 2014 graduate of Elmwood High School now living in Menomonie.

CVTC wants its many students who are veterans to know how much their service is appreciated. CVTC has long held Veterans Day observances, but this year due to the avoidance of public gatherings, the recognition will be different.

Wednesday, Nov. 11 will be Red, White, and Blue Day. Everyone can participate by dressing up in the national colors and showing their support for veterans. Thank-you emails will be sent to all service member students currently enrolled and staff that have openly disclosed their veteran status. The internal MyCVTC website and campus TV monitors will have a thank-you to the veteran students.

New at CVTC this year is the Veteran Resource Corner on the internal website that all service member students will have access to. After its introduction on Nov. 11, the platform will have a video intro from Deb Ludwikoski, CVTC’s veterans’ benefits specialist, resources specific to veterans’ benefits and services, other CVTC resources that may assist them, and a chat area for to introduce themselves and find other veterans at CVTC.

Joyce appreciates such gestures, and the support he and other veterans receive from CVTC. He receives support for his education through the G.I Bill, which not only pays for his schooling, but also provides a stipend for living expenses.

“That’s what lets me keep my apartment in Menomonie and spend 100 percent effort on my education without having to work full time,” Joyce said. He holds a part-time job with CVTC’s Safety and Security team.

Joyce added that if he needs any help with his benefits, CVTC is there.

“If we have to contact Deb for anything about the G.I. Bill, she is more than willing to help and walk us through the steps. It’s great.”

Joyce joined the Marines in 2013 while still in high school, choosing that branch because what he perceived as a greater challenge appealed to him. He took basic training in San Diego, but was stationed for most of his career at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina as a radio operator.

After discharge, he spent some time in the Marine reserves, but missed the camaraderie with his fellow Marines. Rather than returning to active duty, he chose CVTC’s Criminal Justice program. He expects to graduate in May and is already looking for work at a rural county sheriff’s department in hopes it will sponsor him at the CVTC Law Enforcement Academy.

“I enjoyed the lifestyle of the military and was looking for something where I could stay in that lifestyle pattern,” he said of his career decision.

While CVTC salutes Joyce and other veteran students for their service to the nation, it is helping prepare him for another life of honorable service.

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