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Veterans, dependents paint Cal Poly 'P' red to honor deployed counterparts

Posted at 2:56 PM, Nov 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 00:25:57-05
Veterans, dependents paint Cal Poly 'P' red to honor deployed counterparts

Nearly a dozen members of Cal Poly's Center for Military-Connected Students painted the Cal Poly 'P' red to honor their counterparts deployed overseas Sunday afternoon.

The color red represents the non-profit organization R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed), whose mission is to "show solidarity and support for deployed service members every week until they return to their homes and families," the organization's website said.

The Poly 'P' will "be red for the week to bring awareness to the community we have on campus of veterans, dependents and anyone that's related to the military, whether they are in ROTC or in the reserves," said Marine Corps veteran and President of Cal Poly's Student Veterans Organization Willis Berrios.

The color also symbolizes the poppy flower, which has historically been a remembrance symbol for the soldiers who fought in World War I.

The 35-by-50-foot concrete Cal Poly 'P' painted red will "serve as a beacon to remind county residents of dedicated U.S. armed forces serving all over the world," said Communications Specialist Jay Thompson.

The Center for Military-Connected Students is a group of about 550 veterans and dependents at the university, according to Thompson.

The university's military-connected community comprises of nearly 100 veterans — including some active duty and many in reserve status — and more than 450 military dependents, said Kari Leslie, the first full-time coordinator of the Veterans Success Center at Cal Poly.

This year, the U.S. News & World Report named Cal Poly the second most veteran-friendly school among colleges and universities in 15 Western states.