MIDLAND, Texas — For 26 years, Jesus Ortega served all over in the U.S. Navy.
"Been around the world twice in my lifetime," said Ortega. "I’ve stepped foot on just about every country and continent, I'm very grateful for that."
However, now retired as a veteran, he has made Midland College home.
"When I first was a student here, I started coming to class in 2016, they had just established the veterans association here at the campus," said Ortega.
While getting involved with veterans services on campus, he's been able to connect with veterans just like him.
"When they established the program, I got to meet with probably about 80% of the veterans here," said Ortega. "All branches swap stories, tell about each other, so I got to see the program grow."
Now, five years after starting as a student, he's a Director of Technical Services at the College, and also frequently helps at the Military Resource Center. This is something that allows him to keep the same camaraderie he once had while serving.
"We provide a lot of resources," said Ortega. "This room we’re in is one catered for veterans to come in, do homework, have a snack, talk about old stories and keep that camaraderie and teamwork going."
To honor the veterans at Midland College, the Military Resource Center will be holding a celebration Friday at 11 a.m. at the Carrasco Room on campus.
The celebration will also include recognition of those who served in the armed services, a parade of colors by Midland High School ROTC and a musical presentation by children of the Midland College Helen Greathouse Children’s Center as they sing military branch songs.