Monday, January 23, 2012

FURTHER INFORMATION:            PAULA GREEN (626) 914-8873, STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082


Citrus College Staff Member Helps Honor Local Military Personnel

by Stacy Armstrong


When the United States celebrated the end of the Iraq War last month, many local military personnel and their families rejoiced.  Among them was Glendora resident Emmy Madrid, a secretary in the Citrus College Orfalea Family Child Development Center.


“I served in the United States Army, as did my husband.  My sister is a member of the Navy and my niece participates in the Air Force and Army reserves,” she explains.  “While it is in our blood, the military is also a family all of its own.”


The end of the war means that members of Madrid’s military “family” will soon be returning from deployment.  And, as part of the Project Glendora Yellow Ribbon (PGYR) committee, she will be kept busy.


According to their web site, Project Glendora Yellow Ribbon is a grassroots effort to gain public recognition for Glendora residents who are currently serving in the Armed Forces.  Through solicited funding, the organization arranges for the printing, purchase and installation of recognition banners that hang along various lampposts throughout the city.


“When a soldier returns home, the committee removes his or her banner and presents it to them.  Their families are there for the presentation, and it is an extremely heart-warming experience,” she said.  “The moment I see a soldier receive his or her banner upon their return, I breathe a huge sigh of relief.  It is such a blessing to see families reunited.”


While recognition banners may seem like simple gestures, Madrid knows first-hand how meaningful they can be.


“Several years ago, my husband was deployed and, to my surprise, a banner was installed in his honor. The fact that my husband was honored and supported by this committee gave me the desire to become involved,” she explains.  “Volunteering for this committee is a way of showing my appreciation and respect for those who have served.  Because I have served and have loved ones who are serving, I felt like it was just the place I needed to be.”


In addition to taking part in the quarterly banner presentations, Madrid spends time participating in monthly meetings and community events.


“With the various personal commitments that we all have, it is often hard to find time to accomplish all of the committee’s goals,” she said.  “However, it is very rewarding to have built relationships with an amazing group of people who have a deep passion for what they do for their communities and our service members.”


Mrs. Joanne Montgomery, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, says that Madrid is just one of many outstanding faculty and staff members who give back to their communities.


“Emmy’s efforts to recognize our nation’s military are both inspirational and admirable,” she said.  “Whenever I learn of the volunteer efforts of our faculty and staff, I am always incredibly impressed.  The fact that so many of the college’s employees are active in their communities speaks volumes about the caliber of people on our campus.  It is not surprising that Citrus College is frequently recognized for being a leader in education.”


Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, superintendent/president of Citrus College, agrees.


“Citrus College has a long-standing commitment to assisting members of our nation’s military.  In fact, we have outstanding support programs and services that are designed to meet their unique educational needs,” she said.  “We are proud that Emmy, along with other faculty and staff, take the time – both on and off campus – to serve this very deserving group.  Our veterans have made many sacrifices in the service of their country, and it is an honor and privilege to be able to recognize their contributions to society.”


Although the war in Iraq may be over, Madrid says that the work of Project Glendora Yellow Ribbon will continue.


“It is our goal to keep our organization going as long as there are Glendora residents who are deployed,” she said.  “Simply put, ‘freedom isn’t free.’  It shouldn’t matter how we feel about the situations in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The bottom line is that these men and women are making personal sacrifices.  Supporting them and their families is what matters the most.”




FURTHER INFORMATION:            PAULA GREEN (626) 914-8873, STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082