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Salute: 9 RCC Student Veterans To Be Inducted Into National Honor Society

Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Mack
Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Mack Photo Credit: Rockland Community College

RAMAPO, N.Y. – A decorated military serviceman is to be the keynote speaker at a dinner celebrating the induction of nine Rockland Community College students into SALUTE, the national honor society for United States veterans.

According to a statement from Rockland Community College (RCC), the students have each achieved academic distinction while enrolled at the two-year state university.

The student veterans to be inducted into SALUTE include:

  • Sgt. Christian Jurgen Alvarado , a Marine Corps aviation precision measurement equipment repair technician who enlisted in July 2010 and is based at Stewart Airport. Alvarado graduated from RCC in May 2012 and went on to complete a program at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx in September.
  • Lance Cpl. Edgar A. Alvarez , who served as a rifleman in Marines Corps Infantry from 2010-2015. Based in Keneohe Bay, Hawaii, Alvarez was deployed to Bahrain in 2011 and with the Navy’s Seventh Fleet in 2014. Alvarez is currently enrolled in RCC’s aerospace engineering program with plans to study computer engineering.
  • Staff Sgt. Joseph Michael Beckmann , an Air Force aerospace maintenance/craftsman based at Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Japan. Beckmann was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, from 2009-2010 during Operation Enduring Freedom and to Kyrgyzstan in 2011. He is currently enrolled in RCC’s Mentor/Talented Student Honors program with plans to transfer to Columbia University.
  • Cpl. Jordan Alexander Bogart , who served as a Marine Corps tow gunner based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., from 2002-2006 and as a sergeant in the Army National Guard from 2006-2009. Bogart was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 during Operation Enduring Freedom and to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. He graduated from RCC in May 2012 with an associate’s degree in Fire Science and returned to the school in 2015 to study in the Culinary Arts Certificate program. Bogart works as a firefighter in Larchmont.
  • Spc. Felix Francois , who served as an Army carpentry/masonry specialist based in Germany from 2002-2006. Francois was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2001 and 2003. He is currently studying criminal justice and early childhood education at RCC with plans to enter either the education field or law enforcement.
  • Cpl. Kevin N. Lemus , a Marine Corps aviation supply specialist from 2011-2015 who was deployed to Afghanistan from 2012-2013 during Operation Enduring Freedom. Lemus is currently drilling with the Marine Corps Reserve while studying business administration at RCC.
  • Spc. James Henry Ray , an Army specialist from Haverstraw who is being inducted in SALUTE posthumously.
  • Staff Sgt. Christopher Thacker , a Marine Corps radio chief based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., who served from 2002-2015. Thacker served at U.S. embassies in Peru and the Bahamas in 2007-2008, was deployed to Iraq in 2007 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011. He is currently studying nursing at RCC.
  • Spc. Kamie Rachelle Young , a combat medic with the Army based at West Point who served from 2011-2014. Young is currently drilling with the Army Reserve while studying math and science at RCC. She plans to become a physician’s assistant.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Crowne Plaza, 3 Executive Blvd., Suffern, according to RCC.

Scheduled to speak at the event is retired Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Mack, a highly decorated veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Mack’s honors include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal in lieu of 2nd Award and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in lieu of fifth award, among several others, according to RCC.

The induction dinner is open to all at a cost of $30. For more information, call 845-574-4105 or email jbarnwel@sunyrockland.edu.

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