Fresno State marches in veterans parade; campus closed

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Fresno State marches in veterans parade; campus closed

After pausing on Tuesday, Nov. 9, for a ceremony honoring men and women for their military service, the California State University, Fresno campus is closed on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, but the university will be well represented in the Fresno Veterans Parade.

The event, which is billed by its organizers as the largest community Veterans Day parade in the nation, was established in 1919, with World War I fresh in people’s minds.

The 92nd annual parade begins at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Fresno with the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band just behind the color guard.

The Fresno State contingent also includes the Air Force and Army ROTC units, Bulldog Athletics mascot Timeout, cheerleaders from the Bulldogs Spirit Squad and members of the campus Student Veterans Organization.

The student club entry –two Bulldog trams and three vehicles – red, white and blue – will be in Division 2, unit 15. Dr. Paul Oliaro, the Fresno State vice president for Student Affairs, and Student Veterans Organization president Junrel “Jon” Sumagang, a nursing major from Salinas, will be joined by Timeout and Spirit Squad members on the trams. Student Veterans Organization members will ride in the three vehicles or march alongside.

Oliaro was an Army officer after serving in the Army ROTC at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn. He spoke Nov. 9 at the Veterans Day ceremony on campus – the first arranged by the Student Veterans Organization.

It paid tribute to the university’s 350 student military veterans, reservists and active-duty personnel, to faculty and staff who are veterans and to the thousands who in military service during the university’s first hundred years. The event featured music and presentation of colors by the Air Force ROTC detachment.

Earlier this semester, Fresno State was named a Military Friendly School for 2011 by G.I. Jobs magazine for its dedication to the veterans community. University programs help ease transition to civilian life. Fresno State also participates in the California State University Troops to College program, designed to attract more veterans to California public universities

Fresno State’s Veterans Services Office, within the Division of Student Affairs, helps veteran students maximize educational benefits and understand the benefits process. It guided students to form their organization, which promotes communication between student veterans, helps them connect with services, resources and organizations and encourages development of social and professional relationships among members still on serving.

For more information, contact Robyn Gutierrez, veterans benefits coordinator, at 559.278.7030 orrgutierrez@csufresno.edu.

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