For many U.S. military veterans, the opportunity to tour Washington, D.C., and visit America's most historic landmarks, memorials and hallowed battlegrounds is the chance of a lifetime.
This spring, Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) staff and volunteers are working with a student organization and the Office of Disability Services at the Calmar campus to generate funds to send two qualifying NICC student veterans to Washington next Sept. 17-23.
To qualify, NICC students must be U.S. military veterans who have a documented disability. Students can obtain an application for the weeklong trip and submit their information to the Office of Disability Services, located in the Student Center on the Calmar campus.
Deadline for application submissions is Friday, March 29.
"This is one way we can support our nation's veterans who have disabilities and to provide funding for a trip that for many would not be financially possible," said Rhonda Siebert, NICC Calmar campus provost. "We want to raise enough money to send at least two veterans."
Many students at the Calmar campus who are currently applying for the tour are nontraditional students who served in the Vietnam War, Seibert said.
"This opportunity is coordinated by the S.T.E.P. (Support Through the Encouragement of Peers) organization and its 'Heroes Among Us' campaign through the Office of Disability Services at the Calmar campus," Seibert added. "It's important for veteran applicants to know that their disability does not need to have been caused by active duty."
During the September 2013 trip, the NICC student veterans will visit the nation's capital and its Korean War, Lincoln and Vietnam Memorial monuments; take tours and enjoy an overnight stay in the U.S. Civil War's three-day historic battleground town of Gettysburg, Penn.; visit Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, including a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb; and observe "The Eternal Flame" memorial dedicated to President John F. Kennedy.
Other tour highlights include visits to the Iwo Jima Memorial, Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and museums that document the accomplishments of the U.S. Navy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
For more information on ways to contribute to the "Heroes Among Us," Fall 2013 Veterans Memorial Bus Tour to Washington, D.C., call (800) 728-2256, ext. 258, or visit the NICC Office of Disability Services in the Calmar campus Student Center.