Nicholls community attends annual Veterans Day ceremony


Photo by: Andrew Toups

Veterans stand to be recognized at Nicholls annual Veterans Day ceremony in the quad Wednesday, November 11th.

Current and past students, faculty members and administrators of Nicholls State University and those in the surrounding community gathered Wednesday morning to acknowledge those who have fought and continue to fight for this country.

The annual Nicholls Veterans Day Ceremony was held yesterday in the quadrangle, as numerous veterans and supporters gathered to commemorate the men and women who served in United States Armed forces. Coordinator of Veterans Services Gilberto Burbante opened the ceremony, welcoming those in attendance. A three-time Iraq War infantry and Morgan City native, Gilberto graduated from Nicholls in 2011 and is a former Marine and Army National Guard officer. A goal of his since being becoming coordinator is making sure that every veteran student that comes through his office receives priority academic service, along with helping transition into civilian and college lifestyle.

“What I take pride in, and what Nicholls takes pride in, is that one, we are not just pushing out numbers,” Burbante said. “In the military you’re a number where you’re a body and a tool. Here at Veterans Services, you’re not a body but rather an individual that brings leadership, ideas and work experience to the student body, and Nicholls recognizes that.”

After students from Generations Teaching Generations Preschool gave the pledge of allegiance, University President Bruce Murphy introduced the guest speaker for this year’s event.

Joshua Moffett was the special guest speaker for this year’s occasion. Moffett is a former United States Army Airborne Ranger with three combat deployments to Iraq and two times to Afghanistan. During his time of service, he witnessed around 300 combat missions during his six-year enlistment. Afterwards, Moffett enrolled at Nicholls and soon earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He credits Nicholls Veterans Services with helping him transition out from the life of combat and into becoming a student with.

“When I first came to Nicholls, I felt like I had somewhat of an advantage because of my experiences and being out and seeing the world,” Moffett said. “As veterans I think we take school and the community serious because we understand what it took and also what we gave up just to be in college, just having the ability to remain focused and have our eyes on the prize.”

Burbante also added how skills developed in the armed forces transition into the classroom when pertaining to Nicholls veterans being verbal in the classroom and being active around campus.

“While transitioning into the college lifestyle, the military mindset may began to dwindle away, but the relevance of what you learned stays,” Burbante said.

The chain of command structure is one trait that Burbante said will always stay. The teacher is seen as a commander or a higher up, and when asked a question, you respond.
“That kind of respect and verbalization is contagious, but it’s also a structure to it,” Burbante said. “That is one of the many ways veterans set examples to other students, that you can speak out, be respectful and serious about school.”

Numerous amounts of veterans in attendance were given the opportunity to give their names and when they served in their perspective divisions. Marcus Robertson is a senior mass communication major who served in the Louisiana Army National Guard and was in attendance for the ceremony.

“Veterans Day is a day of uplifting those who have sacrificed,” Robertson said. “Different classifications, races or creed, it doesn’t matter. We fight for one common goal, and that’s freedom for America and others.”