GCC Honors Veterans with Ceremony and Fundraiser

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Gateway Community College (GCC) recognized veterans recently with a ceremony in honor of Veterans Day and a fundraiser to help those in need.

The Veterans’ Affairs office hosted a ceremony on Nov. 12 in N100 to honor veterans and thank them for serving the country.  Rev. John Henry Scott, III, Esq., Kellie Byrd Danso, director of Career Services & Veterans’ Affairs, and Rick Palinko, coordinator of Veterans’ Affairs, all welcomed GCC veterans who are students and alumni.

Michael Turcio, a veteran who served as a sergeant in the army, spoke before about 75 people who attended the ceremony.  Turcio noted that when he came to GCC to become an Emergency Medical Technician, he was grateful to have found support from the Veterans’ Affairs office.  He now works for American Medical Response and he said that he puts the values he learned while in the service to work each day on the job.
Turcio said that he learned about teamwork during the challenging Red Phase of his training and he tries to instill that team approach in his employees.  Turcio and Palinko developed a care package program for veterans to help those in need, particularly homeless veterans.  Turcio described Palinko as “one of the biggest advocates” for veterans and a positive role model.
The Gateway Community College Foundation also created a special online Giving Day to Support GCC Veterans.  In addition, veterans at GCC have formed the Armed Forces Veterans Club, a social club that also organizes service projects to give back to the veteran community.  Last year, the club donated to Home for the Brave.  The club supports the Veterans’ Affairs office by helping veterans transition from the military mindset to the school setting and helping students meet people outside the military as well.