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I am a Senior at the University of the Pacific. I'll graduate in 5 weeks. It has been the best experience, especially after having waited 50 years to complete. I have retired twice. I retired from the military with 32 years of service and from a state community college where I worked with veterans and operated a veteran's resource center. I have a full-time job waiting for me, the University of the Pacific Military and Veteran Student Center. [www.stanleyrapada.com](https://www.stanleyrapada.com) I don't profess to knowing everything, but as the saying goes, "if I don't know the answer, I'll find someone that does." If you have any questions, or just want someone to listen and hear you. I'll be glad to help you out. [srapada@pacific.edu](mailto:srapada@pacific.edu) is my email.


It has been an interesting journey. I got drafted in the Army in 1970. I don't remember much about it, other than, I was in the Army. I've blocked out almost all of it. I got out for a second and realized that I didn't fit in to the world anymore. I knew I did not care for the Army. Those people are crazy shits. The Navy was my next choice. It was a good one. I spent the rest of my military life traveling the world, getting bad haircuts on ships. Living with 300 to 5000 other people. I had three squares, a warm place to sleep, hot running water when there was water. Coffee anytime of the day. On some days I would wake in another part of the world. Sure, I did a fair amount of bitching; that is what we do when we are happiest. Life was good, even when I complained, it all came to a close. I retired.


There came a point when I realized that I had to do something different in life. I wandered aimlessly for a few years. I had to figure out what and readjust. I got lucky and got an interview at San Joaquin Delta College. I suddenly realized, I did not know anything and had to hustle to get ahead of the curve. I read a lot at night, taught myself what I would need to know the next day and powered forward. I bounced around from one position to another and learned many things about the college, who was who and what I could do to be a part of the team. The director of financial aid asked me to apply for a vacancy she had as a financial aid specialist. She said they would teach me everything I needed to know. They did and life was good, again. Everyone knew I was a veteran. Veteran students and new veterans would track me down or the staff would steer them to me. I ended up working for the veterans as an unofficially official veteran resource. Suddenly, someone came up with the idea that there should be a place for veterans where they could get help and speak in a way that veterans understand. I was the first "director" of the Leo Burk Veteran Resource Center. The center went from a 400 sq.ft. space to a 800 to a a 1600. It was a good place to be.


Another milestone and another decision had to be made. I retired from Delta College. I had always wanted to get my degree. It was time to reinvent myself. I have arrived. The University of the Pacific has made a commitment to veterans. I'm am helping them to meet that commitment.


The University of the Pacific has given to the veterans a house, the Anderson House, to be exact, 265 West Knoles Way, Stockton, Ca 95211. The house is undergoing major renovations to exceed the expectations of veteran students and the community. New bathroom, new kitchen, new doors, new passages and halls. The center has a golf cart to help veterans get. around the campus. The center renovations "should" be completed and ready to open for the Fall of 2021. I'll hang out the open sign and put out the welcome mat.


My name is Stanley Rapada, Senior Chief, U.S. Navy (Retired) and I'm, looking for you.


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