By Gina Martinez
Veterans at Queens College now have a new space to lounge on campus.
Queens College announced the newly renovated Veterans Club Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In attendance were City Councilmen Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and a representative from state Assemblywoman Nily Rozic’s (D-Flushing) office.
The club was made possible by an $8,000 grant from Student Veterans of America and The Home Depot Foundation. The club is located on the second floor of the Student Union. The revamped space includes new lounge and kitchen furniture, a computer, appliances, and renovation supplies.
Lancman, who served as a commissioned officer and infantry platoon leader in the New York Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division, praised the refurbished club on campus.
“Queens College honored our veterans the right way by opening a Veterans Lounge with the motto: ‘We learn so that we may serve,’” he said. “Too often, veterans are only shown appreciation on Veterans Day, but this new lounge is a way to recognize our local veterans all year long.”
Veterans Outreach Specialist Dennis Torres talked about the improvements, which included fixing the walls and ceiling, new tiling, a flat screen TV, a full fridge and a microwave. According to Torres, the lounge is used to host events for veterans, including a yearly disabled veterans awareness celebration.
“Here at St. John’s we have roughly around 250 military students,” he said. “This club is an organization on campus that helps build bridges with veterans and the rest of the community. Around 60 students showed up to the ribbon cutting/ They were excited, there was a great reception to the lounge. Everyone was so happy. It all came out greater than anyone had expected.”
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