Veterans. Veterans. Veterans. When it comes to the Kern Community College District bond, Measure J, some say it is all Bakersfield College talks about. Well, veterans are not an “it.” It is a me. I am that veteran at Bakersfield College and, yes, I will beat the drum on my own behalf. We need the bond because we need a fully functioning veteran resource center.

A small group of people say the veterans are being exploited just so BC could get the bond. Have those people even been to campus the last three years and seen the energy here? We are not being exploited. We are very much part of the sinew of this college, from the top down, and side to side. But, if being exploited means we get an $8.5 million resource center, and the Delano campus a $2 million resource center, then I say, exploit away.

A new Veteran Resource Center will have a larger dedicated space for veterans to come together to share, support, and most importantly to decompress.

Having served as an infantryman in the Army for four years, fighting in Iraq, I need a place to chill out from time to time. The space will also have dedicated tutors for veterans who have not been in school in four plus years, and increased administrative support.

I know there are other great needs on campus. But I want a veterans’ resource center. I’m a veteran! And I want a better BC.

— Wesley Lyons, Bakersfield