Posted on: November 21, 2019 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Denzel Pennix

Staff Writer

Moraine Valley Community College recognized not only student veterans, but all veterans this Veterans Day. The event was put together by the Student Success Department in Conjunction with Moraine’s Student Veterans Association chapter, Boots to College. The Event began with the Orland Park VFW (Veterans of Foriegn Wars) posting of the colors. Noah Imm, the Boots to College president, followed with a few words about what being a Student Veteran Really Means; “My plan is to leave this college with a 4.0 GPA, which is harder than I thought. However, at one point, it wasn’t just me striving for these things, but it was also other veterans here who had a similar mission. Each Veteran that I talked to seemingly held themselves to a higher standard than their younger peers in the classroom, and in that I realized what it actually means to be a veteran . Although we all left our respective branch of service, we all still maintained a certain personal standard that was ingrained during our respective time in the service.” Imm concluded his piece by reading a letter from United States Senator, Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth states, “I have made fighting for and protecting Veterans and Veteran’s families my life’s work. I will continue fighting for my fellow Veterans and Service members every single day.” Senator Duckworth’s words are an inspiration to all student veterans, and a commitment to serving our country is something all Americans should emulate.  

Moraine Valley’s President Sylvia Jenkins took to the 

podium, and talked about the connections she made with some of Moraine’s student veterans, and how they are a vital piece of Moraine’s culture. President Jenkins is very proud of our student veterans, and will continue to support them in every way she can. She would like it to be known, “If there are some resources you need but are not receiving, please let a Moraine Valley staff member know, so we can make it happen.” Moraine Valley is dedicated to doing what is necessary to get all students where they want to be. 

Nick Stricker, VP of Application Security Services at ESPO Systems, attended as the keynote speaker. Stricker informed the crowd of the ingredients that make up the “Veteran Secret Sauce.” The most important ingredient in the sauce and the most important ingredient in success is the EQ or Emotional Intelligence that is commonly found among veterans. ESPO systems have taken notice of this, and employs many veterans, along with many moraine graduates. 

Next was the SVA chapter, Boots to College Vice President, Denzel T. Pennix. Pennix talked about how Moraine’s resources and support have been an integral part of his success. When he announced that he planned to return to Moraine as an instructor, the audience responded with a resounding ovation. “I could not have made it this far without my instructors, all the staff at the Veteran Resource Center, and the friends I have made at Moraine Valley.”  There are so many people and resources just waiting to help veterans. Pennix closed his speech with a moment of silence, remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Gary Lang, from Veterans Voices, carried out the Laying of the Wreath Ceremony. The laying of the wreath is highly symbolic, and is to acknowledge those who are missing in action, Prisoners of War, and those who did not come back home. “They are the true heroes,” according to one of the Marine Corps League members. 

The Orland Park VFW closed retired colors, and refreshments followed.

Denzel Pennix is a veteran and can be contacted at