In honor of this year’s Veterans Day, CSU Bakersfield held its first ever Veterans Day celebration. The event was held on Thursday, Nov. 8 in the campus Runner Park.
The celebration was put together by the CSUB Veterans Student Success Center and Veterans club to honor the more than 200 student veterans on campus.
Jamie Pacheco, coordinator of the Veteran Center, also coordinated the event. She said wanted to celebrate the day with visuals for the student veterans.
CSUB student and member of the Veterans Club, Greg Long, stated that he and the rest of the club members wanted a celebration on campus.
“I started off at Bakersfield College and then came here. They do a Veterans Day festival and so we wanted to follow suit but do it for the Runners,” said Long.
Long said that the club had been recruiting Veterans since they saw an increase of student Veterans on campus.
CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny, Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, and ASI President Ashley Schmidt were among those in attendance.
The celebration included a veteran resource fair, music, and food. One of the highlights of the celebration was the visit of a Black Hawk helicopter piloted by the Fresno Army National Guard.
Students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered to watch the Black Hawk helicopter land in the grass field behind the Student Union. Shortly after, they were all able to view the inside of the helicopter and take pictures.
The helicopter was one of Pacheco’s visual display goals for the celebration.
“My brother is in the Army National Guard and we were talking over the summer and I told him that I wanted to hold a big event at our campus,” said Pacheco. “He is the one that got me in contact with the aviation unit.”
Pacheco had kept in contact with the unit for months before the event to make this possible.
“Here we are today where it was able to land,” said Pacheco. “We have families here, we have veterans that brought their families. I, myself including brought my children and my spouse who is a veteran.”
The Black Hawk helicopter was displayed for viewing for over an hour and many campus community members were able to see it up close. According to Pacheco, the landing of the helicopter was free of cost to the CSUB Veterans center.
“I wanted to provide something for students to commemorate Veterans Day and for our entire campus community to partake in the events,” said Pacheco.