US and Colorado flags flying

In the 43-year history of Front Range Community College, it is thought that no honorary degrees have been awarded.

Until Wednesday. And the recipient was a good one.

A former FRCC student.

Christopher A. Anderson attended FRCC in 2000 and 2001. In 2005 he enlisted in the Navy. He was the “honor graduate” of his training class. He entered the Naval Hospital Corpsman School and was assigned, as most Navy hospital corpsmen are, to the Marines. He deployed to Iraq where on Dec. 6, 2006, he was killed in a mortar attack on his casualty aid station.

On Wednesday, the Boulder County Campus Student Veterans Club paid tribute to veterans, and the college honored “Doc” Anderson.

An honorary certificate and honorary degree

President Andy Dorsey presented Doc’s parents, Rick and Debra Anderson, and his brother, Kyle Anderson, with a Certificate in Emergency Medical Technology-Basic (honorary) “to reflect Doc’s service as a Navy corpsman” and an Associate of Arts Degree (honorary) “to reflect the path he started on at FRCC.”

A plaque will be hung on campus. The plaque states in part: Front Range Community College honors former Boulder County Campus student Christopher Anderson and acknowledges his family’s sacrifice on this 9th day of November, 2011.

About 700 veterans are enrolled at FRCC today. “We’re proud to help them get an education,” Andy said. “Our honors for Doc honor him and all veterans.”

‘Longmont’s hometown hero.’

State Senate President Brandon Shaffer presented the Anderson family with a Tribute from the State Senate. “I feel like I’ve known him all my life,” Sen. Shaffer said. “My family and the rest of the community have adopted him as one of our own.” He called Doc “Longmont’s hometown hero.”

Linda Curran, campus vice president, said, “Veterans and their families understand the price of freedom in a way that the rest of us can only grasp by association. The honors we are about to bestow in Doc Anderson’s memory honor him and honor the sacrifices that all of our veterans make, whether they live among us or remain in our memories.”

Jerome Lewis, Army veteran and president of the Student Veterans Club, thanked Andy and Linda. “They have a vision to make FRCC the most veteran-friendly institution in Colorado,” he said.

Col. Jeffry Rose, retired from the Army and past national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, read the military citations that Doc earned.

Honored guests included Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer William Hawkins (retired) and Jeanette Hawkins, Doc’s grandparents; Ralph Bozella, Vietnam veteran, past state commander of the America Legion and chairman of the Colorado Board of Veteran Affairs; and Staff Sgt. John Connor, a Marine veteran of World War II and Korea.

Today is Veterans Day.

Before I came to work today, I posted the American flag on the house. One of my sisters posted a tribute on Facebook to our parents, Lt. Katharine Q. Feeley and Sgt. Edward M. Feeley, veterans of World War II. How have you honored veterans today?

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