TNCC Joins Remembrance Day National Roll Call During its Veterans Day Observance

Published: November 8, 2011

Thomas Nelson Community College will host a Veterans Day observance on Friday, Nov. 11 on the Hampton campus. During the observance, TNCC joins a Remembrance Day National Roll Call honoring the sacrifices of U.S. service members over the past decade.

Following an 8:30 a.m. opening ceremony, volunteers from TNCC and the community will begin reading the names of more than 6,000 fallen service members at 9 a.m. The College will observe a one-minute moment of silence at 2 p.m. simultaneously with colleges, universities, and other entities nationwide participating in this Remembrance Day National Roll Call. The roll call will last throughout the day until all of the names are read.

The Nov. 11 observance is particularly significant for TNCC students Karina Parks and Isaac Shorter. Both veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they are among 1,400 veterans enrolled at the College. Parks is a specialist in the Army National Guard with five years of service and Shorter retired from the U.S. Navy after serving 20 years.

A Hampton resident, Shorter received an Associate’s degree in Automotive Technology from TNCC this year and is now pursuing a degree in management with the goal of becoming an entrepreneur. He takes pride in his military career during which he earned 16 awards including the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, and two Kuwait Liberation medals. The father of six also served in military operations in Lebanon, Haiti and others. “Veterans Day means a lot to me because it’s gratifying to be recognized for the sacrifice.

Things have changed so much in this country since Vietnam. So, to hear people just saying, ‘thank you,’ to veterans is really special. To me [the recognition] is not so much for those of us who are alive as for the ones who have given their lives in service to our country,” said Shorter.

Parks, a Science major who enrolled at TNCC in 2010, echoed that sentiment and expressed appreciation for the personal growth military service has afforded. “It has impacted my life in many ways. It has made me more mature and see life in a whole different perspective. I appreciate everyday because you never know when it will be your last. I also appreciate the simple things in life a lot more,” said Park, a native of North Bergen, New Jersey now residing in Newport News.

Having earned four Army Achievement medals, two Commendation medals, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and several others thus far in her military career, Parks plans to pursue a degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School, ultimately specialize in surgery and practice medicine globally. “I want to be able to travel the world and help underprivileged families get medical care,” said Parks, pointing out that military service has given her a chance to witness peoples’ needs firsthand outside of U.S. borders.

Both Parks and Shorter connect daily with their military brethren and are committed to making a difference. Parks works at the VA Hospital in Hampton and Shorter is a Veterans Affairs Representative at TNCC. “We have experienced so much that no one else…no one else but another veteran can understand. There are things that we can’t even talk about. You never know what someone who has served has been through. So, I tell people often to just be kind to veterans. We’re all are just doing our best to get back into civilian life,” said Shorter.

For more information about TNCC’s Veterans Day observance, contact the Office of Public Relations and Marketing at 825-2725.

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