The Jerome Town Council unanimously approved a motion to proclaim April 1 to be Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Jerome during its meeting on March 14.
Mayor Frank Vander Horst emphasized the importance of recognizing Vietnam veterans, many of whom came home wounded or severely disabled, and securing that never again a generation of veterans is disregarded.
“This proclamation is to honor those still alive and those that came before them,” he said. Vander Horst himself was only one number short of being called up in the draft during the war.
On April 1, the sixth annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day celebration will be held at Cottonwood Kids Park near the Verde Valley Fairgrounds. Diane Joens, member of the organizing committee, said that the event will include a Ride of Honor, which starts at Sedona Posse Grounds Park and ends at the kids park, as well as a free lunch and speeches by Verde Valley mayors.
Another item on the council’s agenda was a presentation on the current activities of the Northern Arizona University Prescott Valley Campus. Richard Heath, who was chosen to be the new executive director in October, was present to deliver the update.
The campus was established in 2010 to extend NAU’s programs to more rural areas, and offers degrees in the fields of applied human behavior, community development and sustainability, entrepreneurship and service industry management. Classes can be taken in-person, online or in a blended format. The campus serves roughly 200 students.
Heath stressed that NAU Yavapai strives to adapt to students’ schedules and provide the opportunity to complete a degree while also working. Internships and job shadowing opportunities are especially important to Heath.
He emphasized the importance of having work experience before completing one’s degree.
“I want to make sure that when our students go through the curriculum, they have job opportunities when they are finished,” he said.
Heath also mentioned the recent establishment of a new NAU Alumni chapter to the Prescott area. The first meeting was held last week and garnered much positive response.
By Steph Berens