Friday, June 11, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           MAY 11, 2010


Citrus College Dignitaries Host Veterans Tour

by Rachel White


Ten veterans from the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) of the United States, Pasadena – San Gabriel Valley Chapter 42 were recently welcomed to the Citrus College campus.


Citrus College Superintendent/President Geraldine M. Perri, Citrus Community College District Board President Dr. Gary L. Wood, and Board Member Dr. Edward C. Ortell served as hosts.  The reserve officers toured the campus and were introduced to various college programs and services, including those for Citrus College student veterans.


“The faculty and staff of Citrus College have moved beyond merely expressing our appreciation for returning veterans by offering proactive and dynamic support services to help these young men and women transition back to civilian life,” said Dr. Perri.  “We are always happy for the opportunity to showcase these innovative new programs and services which help prepare our student veterans to become future leaders in the community.”


Among those present were Dr. Edward Ortell Sr., the father of Citrus College Board Member Edward Ortell, who served in the Air Force during World War II; and Lieutenant Colonel Susan Rose who served in the Army during the Vietnam War.


“I was very impressed with the level of service that student veterans receive at Citrus College,” Rose commented.  “We experienced wonderful treatment on the tour and received such a cordial welcome from the president and the board.”


As part of the tour, Rose and the other reserve veterans visited the Citrus College Veterans Center.  The center, funded by a grant from Wal-Mart, assists veterans with G.I. Bill benefits processing and provides information on the Veterans Book Fund, Veterans Network student club, peer to peer support groups for student veterans to enroll in the college’s Boots to Books class, which was the first college course of its kind in the nation.  This unique class, offered through the Counseling Division, is designed to assist veterans with making a positive transition from military to civilian life by effectively managing military stress, combat reaction stress, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


“I used the G.I. Bill to get my degree, but I don’t remember getting as much service as Citrus College offers its student veterans,” Rose said.  “Soldiers receive maybe three days of discharge orientation.  They are bombarded with a lot of information on a wide variety of topics and the mind can only process so much.  The Veterans Center can reeducate them on their benefits and offer much needed support.”


Rose said she will take what she learned on the tour and share it with veterans at the local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion.


California has one of the largest veteran populations in the nation at over 2 million.  Nearly 80 percent of students that used military benefits at a public higher education institution in California in 2008-09 enrolled in a community college.  The Post 9-11 Veterans Assistance Act of 2008 expands educational benefits to those who have served since September 11, 2001.  The new G.I. Bill covers tuition and fees for any in-state, public institution and provides a housing and book allowance for those who qualify.


Dr. Woods said, “As colleges and universities see the enrollment numbers of student veterans increase year after year, administrators and faculty have become more aware of these students’ needs.  Knowing that our Veterans Program is gaining attention from local veterans advocacy groups serves as a validation that Citrus College is doing its part in addressing these needs.”


For more information on the Citrus College Veterans Program, call (626) 852-6421 or visit




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:           MAY 11, 2010