Assembly District 24’s Veteran of the Year is former U.S. Army Specialist Salvador Palacio, a Willow Glen High graduate who served 1½ combat tours in Iraq. As a combat vet, Palacio endured blistering summer heat in Iraq that reached well over 100 degrees and had many combat duties including “cleaning’’ caves, searching for hiding insurgents.
Salvador Palacio, Assembly District 24 Veteran of the Year,
with Assemblymember Jim Beall
He is attending West Valley College and served on the campus’s Veterans Club as vice-president last semester, directing veterans to the services they need and the benefits that are rightfully owed to them. He also volunteers at the San Jose Vet Center, helping with its holiday celebrations. Click here for website.
My name is Salvador Palacio (image above) and I serve as a student life program board member to support Veteran students at West Valley College. I served in the United States Army from 2003 to 2007 and the National Guard from 2007 to 2009. I did an 18 month deployment to Iraq as an Infantry soldier. As a program board member who will specialize in supporting Veteran students my main mission is to gather ideas from all veterans who attend West Valley in order to improve their time here and to share the ideas with the WVC Veteran’s Task Force on how to make West Valley College a Veteran friendly college and also to plan monthly programs for Veterans. In addition, I would like to share knowledge with Veterans on how to get the most out of their benefits at West Valley and the Veterans Affair system.
My name is Matthew Nelson, and I am the Vice President of the West Valley Veterans Club. I served in the Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010 in the 1st Marine Division. I was an infantryman and operated in a scout sniper platoon. I am also a member of the West Valley chapter of the Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) Honor Society. The veterans club is here for veterans to interact with one another, whether it is sharing information about benefits, coming up with ideas about improving the veteran’s resource center or just telling stories to one another. As vice president, I will be here throughout the semester answering questions about the club, gathering ideas from other veterans and trying to improve the veterans experience here at West Valley.
Veteran's Club President (TBA), & Vice President, Mathew Nelson (middle)
Veterans and military students at SJSU benefit from peer support through the VSO, dedicated to helping with the transition into academic life and to educating our community about the military experience.
Successful veteran student integration involves social affiliation and intellectual connections and the student and institution are equally responsible for these. It is truly a reciprocal relationship and is most important to establish in the first-year. Newly enrolled soldiers pose unique needs for support, and as student service professionals, it is our turn for “active duty” to arm our soldiers with a foundation for their academic success.
More than 1.8 million military personnel were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. For those who returned from their tour of duty with physical impairments, many of their injuries sustained were blast-related. More than half returned with traumatic brain injuries. The challenges for these service men and women seeking higher education are re-integration and re-adjustment, after surviving war with a battle field mentality. Withdrawal, anger, detachment, and guilt become barriers to their success in school. Also, shortened attention span, inability to understand concepts, impaired decision-making, anxiety, and impatience also pose limitations to their functional well-being. The Veteran's Resource Center can play a key concierge role to ensure veteran students transition smoothly.
-- Michelle J. Donohue-Mendoza, Ed.D.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the West Valley College Land Corporation grant for the addition of one more computer system, making it a total of three computer systems for our veteran student's use. In addition a brand new Scanner was also provided by the grant; both are now operational in the WVC Veteran’s Resource Center. Our Veteran students thank you. With the increase of veteran students using the Veteran’s Resource Center this equipment came at a good time.
On another note, the mini refrigerator is usually stocked up with drinks and water for you and we hope to see you soon. Please be sure to stop down the hall and to say hello me (Berni), especially to let me know if you need assistance with anything, including computer, scanner or print issues. I look forward to meeting you.
Nicholas Walter, WVC Veteran student using the new computer system