Veterans honored at recognition ceremony

    Veterans and their friends and family gathered at the Fourth Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony on Nov. 6. It was presented by the UCSD Veterans Association to honor and commemorate the veterans of the San Diego community.

    David Ung/Guardian
    Service: Nicholas S. Aguilar, chair of the UCSD Veterans Association, presents the Fourth Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony on Nov. 6.

    In attendance were faculty and staff of UCSD and local veterans of past wars who had fought in the Vietnam War, the Korean War and World War II.

    “”This ceremony is intended to recognize those members of the armed services that have served and sacrificed, and those serving today as we speak, so that we may enjoy the benefits of this country’s freedom,² said Nicholas S. Aguilar, chairman of the UCSD Veterans Association. “”We are joined by our colleagues and comrades in arms who struggled to ensure that those American principles of freedom, safety and security are here for us and those all around the world.²

    The UCSD Veterans Association was established in April 2001 with the mission of promoting respect for and providing information on the contributions of those who serve, or have served, in the United States military.

    David Ung/Guardian
    Honored: The Veteran of the Year Award was presented to UCSD police officer Eddie Shinn at the Fourth Annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony on Nov. 6.

    “”We want to promote awareness to the rest of the campus of the various contributions made by the veterans,² Aguilar said. “”And I want to personally recognize the colleagues who have contributed to the operation of the university not only in the teaching of classes, but in promoting the welfare of those of us at UCSD and San Diego.²

    Corporal Eddie Shinn of UCSD Police was given the UCSD Veteran of the Year Award. It was presented by UCSD Police Chief Orville King.

    “”[Shinn] joined the university in 1990 as an officer and established himself as a true professional in the field of law enforcement, which reflects his military and naval background,² King said. “”He is dedicated, loyal, compassionate and he truly cares about others.²

    Shinn worked his way up the ranks as E-1 mess-cook to lieutenant in the Navy from 1968 to 1990, eventually becoming a nuclear weapons inspector at North Island. After retirement from the Navy, Shinn became a patrol officer at UCSD. He currently instructs for the Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities on campus and lectures on campus safety and self-defense.

    “”I want to thank the UCSD Veterans Association for giving me the honor of representing the veterans here at UCSD,² Shinn said. “”The Navy has been very good to me. Whatever I decided to do, wherever I wanted to go to school, the Navy has said, ŒYou’ve got it.’ After 20 years of service, I was to either go out to sea once again or retire. I elected to come to UCSD, so I basically exchanged one uniform for another.²

    UCSD had not officially recognized Veterans Day as a school holiday until Aguilar petitioned the UC Board of Regents.

    “”UCSD is the leading institution with recipients of military contracts in federal grants, and yet the university had not allotted the time to give the same kind of deference to those who served before the year 2000,² Aguilar said. “”One of UCSD’s important achievements is the formal acknowledgement of the valuable work that our veterans claim. The staff [members] that are veterans exemplify the kind of service veterans continue to render even after resignation from their positions. This annual ceremony is indeed a tradition that is here to stay.²

    Scheduled guest speaker Rep. Susan Davis of the 53rd Congressional District was not able to appear due to the extended deferment of a recess in Congress. District director for Davis, Todd Gloria, spoke on her behalf.

    “”Higher education can and should do more to recognize the work veterans have done,² Gloria said. “”This [ceremony] is a great thing. We are fortunate to have such a strong veteran community in San Diego that may not only be one of the largest, but well-connected as well.²

    In Congress, Davis serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the Education and Workforce Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee, focusing on issues to improve the quality of life for service members and their families, according to Gloria. She has fought to increase the Veterans GI Bill allowances, veterans’ home loan benefits and healthcare, and campaigned to develop an annex to the Point Lomas military cemetery at Miramar Naval Air Base.

    “”[Davis] believes our nation made a promise to our veterans of certain life benefits when they promised to serve, and she is working on ensuring these agreements,² Gloria said.

    Davis is also campaigning for Bill HR 303, which would correct the situation of “”concurrent receipt.² Presently, veterans are taxed $1 of their retirement pay for every dollar they receive in disability pay. However, HR 303 will reduce the disability tax for veterans with a 50 percent or higher disability rating. Davis briefly addressed the ceremony via telephone call from Washington, D.C.

    “”I send my best to the veterans and my gratitude to them for serving on our behalf,a Davis said. “”Everyone’s time and devotion are greatly appreciated.””

    The UCSD Veterans Association will participate in the San Diego Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal