Oceanside CA— Veteran’s Association of North County (VANC), 1617 Mission Ave, hosted an event at the center to honor Veterans on Veterans Day. AT&T honored VANC for their support and efforts in serving active duty military personnel, veterans and their families with a $30,000 grant.
John Osborne, Director of External Affairs at AT&T presented the check to Chuck Atkinson, Founder and President of VANC. “I recommended to Chuck that he apply for the grant and he did a great job describing the various training programs and career transitioning programs for veterans leaving the military,” said Mr. Osborne
Beginning on Veterans Day, the AT&T Foundation is granting $400,000 nationwide and $100,000 in California, “In 2013 AT&T was a charter member of the 100,000 Veteran Jobs Mission. We committed to 5% and hiring 1,000 veterans a year for five years. By early 2014, AT&T had hired more than 2,300 veterans and the veterans did such a good job, AT&T decided to double down and said we’re going to take 10,000 veterans over the next five years. I’m happy to tell you that as of this year, having already surpassed that number, AT&T has doubled down again and is going to hire 20,000 veterans by the year 2020.” said Mr. Osborne.
“AT&T has been a strong supporter of VANC since day one.” said Mr. Atkinson, “John has been the point man on this and has done a lot of great things for us over the years in supporting us. We are very grateful to John and AT&T.”
Lieutenant Colonel Barron Taylor, Commanding Officer 1st Recruit Training Battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego was the guest of honor for the event and delivered an inspiring message about service to the people attending the event. “What are our obligations to our children and our country? Well, I would say that our obligation to our children is to make them capable of service,” explained the Lieutenant Colonel. “I am blessed and fortunate enough to see young people, every day, volunteer for service. I am also fortunate enough to see the transformation of these young people. Those of us who have children, we get to see the transformation happen. One day they are little babies in your arms. Next thing you know, they are two years old. What’s one of the first word they learn? No! The next word they learn is; Mine! What that means is we all start out as selfish human beings. It’s just our nature. Selflessness is a learned behavior.”
The Lieutenant Colonel described the process and the transformation the recruits go through before graduating. “When I give a graduation speech, I talk about the transformation but I also talk about the individuals who all had a part in that. None of us can do anything alone. We may think we can but we must depend on each other and each other’s servitude.”
Marines from the Assault Amphibian School Battalion escorted the Gold Star Wives. Mark Desens, Colonel USMS(Ret) gave the welcoming remarks Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem were led by Eve and Erica Nasby. Invocation by Charlene Itchkawich, Colonel USMC(Ret) and Benediction by Jacques Chevrier, VANC Chaplain. Music was provided by Emmalyn and the VANC Choir.
Among those in attendance from the City of Oceanside were Mayor Jim Wood, Mayor Pro-tem Chuck Lowery, Councilmembers Jack Feller and Jerry Kern, OPD Chief Frank McCoy, OPD Captain Fred Armijo and OFD Battalion Chief Felipe Rodriguez.
To learn more about Veteran’s Association of North County and the programs they offer, visit their website [here]