Three pictures of veterans
Nov 11, 2021

Veterans Day: honoring those who’ve served our nation and enrich our Y community

Veterans Day is a time to show gratitude toward the military veterans who have served our nation and communities, both in and out of uniform.

To observe this important holiday, we're highlighting just a few of the many veterans who enrich our Y family. Here are their stories:


Angel La Luz, U.S. Army Corporal and McCormick YMCA Executive Director

I joined the Army after graduating from Lane Technical High School, where I had completed four years of high school JROTC. For me, serving in the Army was the natural thing to do, as my father and several other family members had served. In joining, I also saw the Army as an opportunity to get away from local gang pressures, have my college education paid for, and travel abroad. I am proud to have served and represented my country. Let’s all remember that our uniforms do not define us; it is what we do together.

Teressa A. Boone, U.S. Army Veteran and YSVP Urban Warriors Volunteer

In June 2002, I enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 17 as an active duty unit supply specialist. I served fifteen active duty years with seven change of duty stations to Fort Knox, KY, South Korea (twice), Fort Hood, TX, Fort Irwin, CA, Fort Drum, NY and Fort Bragg, NC. Volunteering through programs like YSVP Urban Warriors has helped me realize my purpose and start a nonprofit organization, Operation She Got Courage Foundation, to provide scholarships and relatable programs to change the way stories are told in the media.

Rene Villalobos, Corporal Marine Corps Veteran and YSVP Urban Warriors Program Coordinator

I was an artilleryman for 5 years. I was stationed in Japan, Germany, Hawaii, Oklahoma, California, Kazakhstan, and Afghanistan over my time. The military taught me a lot and led me to the work I am doing today in the community with veterans. I see myself as an activist for veteran’s rights and will be for the rest of my life since it is a brotherhood I belong to.

Embodying our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, we draw inspiration from these courageous, service-minded individuals. We thank the veterans in our Y family for their stalwart commitment to our nation.