VMRC Director Shares what Veteran's Day Means to Him

November 11, 2020 - Dorene DiNaro

MaestasArmyTo me, Veterans Day is a day to recognize the sacrifices made by veterans, past and present.  Some who have given up their lives for our great country and others who have given up years of their lives, in the prime of their lives, to serve our country.  Those who have suffered not only physical, visible injuries, but also non-visible, mental health injuries, which can impact their lives as much as, or even more than the physical ones.

Personally, it is a day that I reminisce about the short time I spent in the Army, and wish I had been able to serve longer, to do more.  I think of my colleagues, my fellow soldiers, and am proud of the contribution they are making in both the Army and civilian world.

“I think of my dad and my uncles, veterans who paved the way for me to join the Army, and who beam with pride that I am still the only one in the family to have served as an Officer.

I think of my colleagues Brandon Lorenzo, Mark Johnson, and Jesse Preciado, veterans who I look up to for their selflessness and desire to help others.  I think of my predecessor at the VMRC, Patrick Gallegos, a combat veteran and sounding board for me.  I think of all the veteran work studies and student employees I have had the privilege of supervising, going out into the world to make a difference in the lives of others.  I think of Stephon Scott, a Drill Sergeant and combat veteran and mentor of mine, and LTC Michael Tachias, also a combat veteran and mentor of mine.

"I think of all the student veterans at UNM, taking on new challenges and working hard to better themselves."