JOSHUA TREE — The day after Veterans Day, Copper Mountain College opened Bud and Betty’s Place for Veterans, a center for people who served in the armed forces.
Retired Col. Bud Garrett donated $25,000 to the Christine Proudfoot Student Activity Center at the college to honor his wife, Betty, who died in 2010. Garrett’s donation helped create Bud and Betty’s Place for Veterans, a center for the 8 percent of students at the college who are veterans to call their own.
A crowd gathered in front of the center for Thursday’s grand opening. Assemblyman Chad Mayes and keynote speaker Congressman Paul Cook, as well as all five of the Garrett children, were in attendance to recognize But and Betty Garrett.
“This is a great tribute to two individuals who have made it happen,” Cook said. “If I started listing the things that they have done for the college and for the community and Marine Corps we would be here all day, but that’s the type of people they are.”
Garrett acknowledged the veterans and active-duty military the center was founded to support
“Today we acknowledge a special group and that’s the student veterans here at Copper Mountain College,” Garrett said. “We have this facility for them, which I am happy that I was offered the opportunity to be a part of, and I hope this will enhance their experience here at the college, the ones that are here now and those who are to come.”
Garrett asked all the student veterans to stand for recognition and held the door open personally for them to be the first to walk through the doors.
Foundation Executive Director Sandy Smith spoke about the ceremony and about Garrett as a person.
“The best part of today’s ceremony was when Bud opened the door for the student veterans to enter the center first,” Smith said. “I think that shows how kind of a man he truly is.”