Inver Hills Community College hosted the First Annual Veteran Pinning Ceremony held in the John H. Thill Veteran Resource Center, hosted by the Beyond the Yellow Committee. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a comprehensive program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting service members and their families with community support, training and resources.
The reception was held prior to IHCC’s Commencement program on Thursday, May 14 with approximately 20 graduating veterans participating. Veterans participating in the pinning ceremony represented various branches of the military including the Army, Army Reserve, Marines, Minnesota National Guard and the Navy. This year, IHCC had over 60 veterans graduate for various programs offered at the college.
John Finley, VALOR Club President and student veteran speaker, who has PTSD noted, “If it weren’t for all of you I wouldn’t be here today.” Sammi Korinek representing Women Warriors, a veteran graduate and student representative on the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee shared with the audience that she really struggled. “I was ready to leave school,” she said, “No one person could help me. It took this school.”
Carol Spande, mother-in-law of graduate Clayton Millican, commented, “Clayton was working and going to school. It’s a lot of work when you’re also raising a small child. I am really proud of him.”
Vincent Balisco’s family was in attendance to watch Vincent’s pinning. Vincent was quick to credit his wife for helping him get his degree. “It took my entire family’s support. I was able to go to school full-time on the VRAP program.” He added, “I strongly recommend any veteran looking at continuing education to check out Inver Hills. They have provided so much assistance.” Balisco just started a job as Correctional Deputy with Dakota County. “I’m really excited. I never thought I’d have an opportunity like this.”
IHCC is dedicated to the power and promise of education; inspire students, build careers and strengthen communities. In addition, the college builds awareness and take action to recognize and support service members and military families before, during and after deployment.
Veteran graduates wore a red, white and blue cord on their gowns.
For more information on veteran’s services at IHCC contact: