FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director of Communications and External Relations
World War II Veteran Honors Citrus College Counselor for Military and Community Service
Glendora, Calif. (July 2, 2019) – Citrus College alumnus and current academic counselor David Rodriguez recently received the Carl Harstine Patriot Award for his military service and contributions to the Citrus College Veterans Success Center.
In a touching ceremony facilitated by America's Christian Credit Union and hosted by Citrus College, Mr. Rodriguez was presented with the award by Carl Harstine, a soon-to-be 94-year-old World War II U.S. Marine Corps veteran and current resident of Glendora.
Mr. Harstine shared his experiences about surviving combat in the South Pacific before commending Mr. Rodriguez for his military service and commitment to the student veterans at Citrus College.
Mr. Rodriguez, who became an academic counselor to help students reach their educational, personal and career goals, was unaware that he had been nominated for the award until a few weeks before the ceremony.
"I was completely surprised and humbled to win this award," said Mr. Rodriguez. "Meeting Mr. Harstine was a tremendous honor, and I intend to continue his legacy of service by supporting and guiding our student veterans on campus."
Presented annually as part of America's Christian Credit Union's Patriot Week celebrations, the Carl Harstine Patriot Award is given to service members in recognition and gratitude for their patriotism and faithful service to the country.
A reservist with the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Rodriguez has been a service member since 2003. In his present role as a combat crew communications specialist, he supports KC-135 air-refueling missions and C-17 air-transportation missions. Mr. Rodriguez has deployed with combat air-refueling teams for missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Inherent Resolve.
At Citrus College, Mr. Rodriguez has distinguished himself as an exceptional counselor with a special ability to relate to and motivate his students to perform at their best. He earned his associate degree in business from Citrus College, his bachelor's degree in behavioral science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and his master's degree in educational counseling from the University of La Verne. Mr. Rodriguez credits his academic counselor at Citrus College for showing him the importance of academic support and guidance, and inspiring him to become a counselor.
"As a member of the armed forces and a Citrus College alumnus, we could not be more proud of Mr. Rodriguez," said Dr. Martha A. McDonald, vice president of student services and herself a Marine. "David understands what our student veterans experience on a day-to-day basis and always goes above and beyond what is asked of him to support them. Most importantly, he is a role model – someone our students look up to – and he inspires them in ways others cannot. He is truly deserving of this award for his dedication to our student veterans."