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Chabot Veteran’s profile

Charles Vital, a 33-year-old Louisiana native who resides in Hayward, is a Chabot College student and a military veteran.

Vital enlisted in the United States Army from March 1999 to 2005 as a 91 Whiskey, which is a combat medic. After completing boot camp and advanced training he was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, where he went on to reach the rank of E-4, (corporal). During Vital’s enlistment he deployed to Japan and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, which carries on to this day.

When asked about how he thought his service benefited him, he said “The military taught me discipline, better planning skills, and made me more organized. It also made me grow up and taught me responsibility. On a deeper level, seeing what I have seen I also learned when to have compassion and when not too.”

Vital’s choice to go to school began during his service while stationed at Fort Polk, Vital said “I was stationed 45 minutes away from home and they say when it’s like that you don’t change from your old ways, so at that time I wasn’t too serious about school. When Vital was discharged he soon found steady warehouse work here in Hayward, “I was so used to getting paid on the first and fifteenth, but after a while I got fired and I needed something that would stick, so I thought a college degree would stick.”

Vital is a Psychology major who wants to go to grad school and is interested in becoming a counselor, but he says things have been difficult. “I’m older than some of these young people and realize the advantage they have over me. I graduated in 95, for six years I focused on nothing but military issues and for most of these young people their high school information is still fresh, especially English and Math.”

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Student veterans gathering on campus


Club Profile: Student Veterans Organization of Chabot College

“Students helping students.” That’s the slogan of a new club on campus, the Student Veterans Organization of Chabot College.

The club’s mission statement reads, “Our mission is to support veterans by providing assistance and access to financial aid, administration, academic support, and an avenue for open discussion, sharing and new ideas. We want to foster camaraderie, military values and a sense of belonging. In addition, we want to create an understanding of veterans’ needs and experiences among the student body, faculty and community.”

Titawny Cook, president of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO), said his reasons for creating the club were to help veterans and to raise veteran awareness. “I want to help veterans because I know what it feels like to be one,” said Cook, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served from 2000 – 2004.

More and more veterans are returning from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with going back to school as the only option for pushing forward in their lives.

Although affordable, with the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, and clearly productive, returning to the classroom after surviving war is often a difficult transition for veterans.

The majority of these veterans are returning with physical and mental injuries, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that make readjustment to civilian life an ongoing and everyday struggle.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, experts believe PTSD occurs in 11 to 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and currently 397,019 veterans, from all wars, receive compensation for PTSD as of June 30, 2010.

These statistics do not address the many cases of life-altering combat trauma that goes unreported and untreated. In any case it is crucial for veterans to have a support system they can rely on, especially in the stressful academic environment.

When talking about what he expects for SVO, Cook said he wants to “create a support system to help them (veterans) become connected to the community and provide a resource that will carry on in the future for veterans who come to Chabot after I’m gone.”

“We owe it to ourselves to show support for our brothers so that they can come to school and get help,” said Cook.

In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, SVO will be showcasing a display of student collected military photos in Building 400 and handing out brochures on the history of Veterans Day.

SVO hosted a public barbecue on Oct. 27 and, according to the club’s Web site, is planning more events such as military movie nights, shooting range visits and outdoor hikes in order to build a sense of community and support.

Already scheduled is a military movie night featuring “What Price Glory” directed by John Ford on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

Veterans and non-veterans alike are welcome to the movie night and all meetings. The next club meeting will be held Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. in Building 400, Room 405.

Make sure to check out the Student Veterans Organization of Chabot College during “Club Rush” today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the quad.

For more information regarding the club and upcoming events contact advisor Mark Stephens at mstephens@chabotcollege.edu or visit the club’s Web site at www.svocc.wordpress.com.

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Sitting with Dr. Stacy Thompson VP of Academic Services of #chabotcollege in Building 200, on April 9, 2014.

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Victory, the Chabot Gladiators tennis fought In the heat to beat American River college 5-4 on Tuesday, April. 8, 2014 at Hayward, Calif. The win over ARC helped the  Chabot tennis team move on to the next round of the playoffs where they will face the undefeated Foothill Owls. (David Soriano/ChabotSpectator/Athletics) #Chabot #tennis #win #winning
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LA Deputy, Hill Goedwart and his horse, Shooter, talked about his 19-year career in law enforcement. #RAW #JACC #horses

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Kemba Smith, spoke with #ChabotCollege students in Building 700 about domestic violence on March 27, 2014. [photo credit: @theworldofours ]
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Donald Pearson seen here took 6th overall at the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational for the long jump with a distance of 6.89m on Mar. 22, 2014, Sacramento CA. Pearson jumped against 30 other athletes that include a few NCAA D1 athletes. Photo by David Soriano @runthatdistancetf
Daniel Estrada of Chabot (8) outkicks the field with a time of 1:58.75 during the Hornet Invitational on Mar. 22, 2014 at Sacramento State. Estrada is the first Gladiator to break the 2:00 mark this year, just 3 weeks ago his personal best was a 2:10!! #tracknation #chabog #track
Choral spring concert as they sing The Terrible Tale of Tom Gilligan at bldg. 1200 on Mar. 20, 2014.
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It was the 47th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Preview Day today at the Peace Plaza in San Francisco's Japantown on Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014.  The candidates for the 2014 Cherry Blossom Queen's Court was introduced to the press.  Shimaoka Kazusa-Kai
San Francisco Koto Ensemble were among one of the performers who entertained attendees at the Cherry Blossom Festival Preview Day.
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FINAL. Chabot's season comes to an end with loss to SBVC in the Final Four. 78-68. Still doesn't erase the fantastic season our Gladiators had. Chabot finishes the year with a 25-8 record.
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THEY'RE HERE! The 2013-2014 Chabot Men's Basketball team shoots around at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA to get ready for the semifinals of the CCCAA tournament against San Bernadino Valley! A victory tonight will send Chabot to the Championship Game which will be played tomorrow! Tonight's game will begin at 7pm preceding the Santa Rosa vs. Chaffey game, and it can be viewed on cccaasports.com! #cccaa #bayarea #basketball #chabot #ncaa #marchmadness
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Usually very active at night, the Russell City Energy Center seen from the Hayward Regional Shoreline lays dormant at night on Mar. 10, 2014. The heavily debated Energy Center is producing 10 times the ammount of pollution allowed by the State of California. Photo by David Soriano @runthatdistancetf #photography #chabot #l4l #love #picoftheday #instagod  #instacool #igers

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