BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Bakersfield College held its annual VetFest to honor those who served and those still in the Armed Forces on Wednesday, November 9th.
The event has been virtual due to the pandemic for the past two years and has returned in person to show its appreciation for veterans, as well as to help guide future veterans toward their careers.
“Having the ability to come out and celebrate them for Veterans Day, in advance of Veterans Day, it’s a big deal to see that support," said Jenny Frank, a United States Marine Corps veteran and the manager for Bakersfield College's Veteran Services Program. "As a veteran myself, I can tell you that it makes a big difference, especially when you’re going through college to know that you have that support there and you are not doing this alone.”
Frank says that celebrating VetFest virtually was a challenge, so being with the community in person this year is a big deal.
“As a veteran, it definitely means a lot to know that our community supports us and Kern County is one of the most supportive counties in the United States for veterans," explained Frank. "But also to know that the folks in higher education, they support us and they are with open arms welcoming us into the community. It’s a big deal.”
Frank says VetFest is also a great way to help students who served in the military know what services are available for them.
“In our Veteran Resource Center, we have just a multitude of different services for them. Anywhere from tutoring to peer mentoring.w We even have two mental health interns here to help our veterans succeed.”
Organizers say VetFest will be held in person moving forward.