By Karina Gutierrez
Riverside City College student Linda Butler sat with her peers in a small house on University Avenue waiting to be sworn in as the first African American female Commander of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 28 on April 18.
The DAV is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans and their families to obtain services provided by the government and representing the interests of disabled veterans.
As the president of the Veterans Association, Butler understands the interests of disabled veterans from her participation in the club she has been able to bring organizations to RCC like like the Food Pantry and Team Red, White & Blue. As commander, Butler’s goal is to keep veterans connected within the community, as well as with each other and most importantly making sure the chapter is runs smoothly.
“My plan is to bring the younger men who served and most importantly the female veterans who also served into our chapter,” Butler said.
Her rise as commander came as a surprise since Butler did not volunteer for the position.
“I guess they have confidence in me that I’m going to be OK,” Butler said.
Butler also hopes to use her experience in community organizations to bring more RCC student veterans into the chapter. Her goals are well received and supported by RCC faculty such as Santos Martinez, a coordinator at the Veterans Resource Center and Garth Schultz, a student financial services counselor.
“I think it’s really cool that she is the first female commander,” Martinez said.
According to Martinez, Butler has done a lot for the community and she will prevail with her new position in the chapter.
With more than 44,000 veterans expected to enroll in a California community college, according to the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Schultz said that RCC is paving the way with its increasing amount of available veterans services compared to its sister colleges in the Riverside Community College District.
“There’s a lot of need there so this is great to have this cross combination between RCC and the Disabled American Veterans,” Schultz said. “It’s important to have these runs in place.”
For more information on services available to veterans, the RCC Veterans Center is located in the Dr. Charles A. Kane Building on the first floor in Room 104.